Are cell phones really bad for your health? People are so tethered to their phones they often can’t take their eyes off of them and are bumping into walls or even stepping out into traffic. But even worse from an attention standpoint is texting and driving, which has caused many new laws to be passed. While these are potentially hazardous to your health and the health of others this just the tip of the iceberg.
You may have never heard of “Text Neck” or “Blackberry Thumb” but what about hyperkyphosis or an upper cross syndrome. They are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society and may be shortening your life.
When you’re using your phone your head goes forward and stays in that position for an extended period of time. Biomechanically this causes your shoulders to roll forward and your mid back to round (hyperkyphosis) creating an upper cross syndrome.
This posture affects the space available for your heart and lungs reducing making them work harder. Which causes you to take shallower breaths limiting the oxygen you breath in changing the chemistry in your body.
“Text Neck” is a recognized 21st century syndrome and is caused by increased stress and muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders. Excessive texting has also been associated with: insomnia, burn out, tendonitis of the thumb, and increased stress.[iii]
Posture has been a long overlooked in our society, and research continues to pour out telling us how important it is. I’m not telling you to throw your phone away, just be “smart” with it. Don’t spend hours a day on your phone. Sit up straight, take a break after five minutes of texting, hold you phone up instead of texting in your lap, and don’t text in bed, and of course visit your favorite Fort Collins Chiropractor!
[i] Kado, Huang, Barrett-Conner, et al. Posture Predicts Mortality indepentant of Vertebral Osteoporosis in Older Women. J Am Geriatric Society. 2004 52(10):1662-7.
[ii] Adams K, Schatzkin A, Harris T, et al. Overweight, Obesity, and Mortality in a Large Prospective Cohort of Persons 50 to 71 Years Old. New England Jounal of Medicine. 2006;355:763-778.
N Engl J Med 2006; 355:763-778August 24, 2006DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa055643
[iii] Murdock, Karla Klein. Texting while stressed: Implications for students’ burnout, sleep and well-being. Psychology of Popular Media Culture. Vol2(4), Oct 2013, 207-221.