Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Pain in the Neck? Blame Your Smartphone

Pain in the Neck? Blame Your Smartphone

Global Content Strategist

We all love our gadgets and electronics. Most of us check our smartphones regularly and spend considerable time standing around holding the phones texting, playing games, and checking Facebook. While this is indeed a mostly pleasant experience, our bodies may not be feeling the same way.

How we hold our gadgets affects how we hold our bodies. More importantly, how we hold our bodies affects our health. It's as simple as that. And it's as scary as that. For most of us, texting or using our phones has become so ubiquitous, so natural, that we don't realize that we're doing something very unnatural in the process. When we look down to use our phones, we often fail to stand up straight and thus our posture changes, which can have negative effects on our bodies and our health.

Take a look at the graphic below and consider the amount of weight on your spine as you lean in closer to see the smartphone screen. That is considerable weight pressure! Sixty pounds. No one would want to carry a suitcase with that much weight around. Yet, we literally carry that weight on our spine when we send a text message!

Posture

 

Research supports the seriousness of this issue. " One estimate suggests people use these devices for roughly two to four hours a day, meaning our necks stay bent for 700 to 1,400 hours in a given year. High school students are even worse."

Too much texting can lead to an actual pain in the neck for some people. Excessive looking down now even has a name: " text neck." Think about this. And pause and look up to get your body into the proper posture.

As health communicators it is not our role to changes people's mind about their gadgets and electronics. That's pretty much a lost cause, and even this blogger loves her handy little devices. However, it is our role to educate the public about the health effects of life habits. Posture--and the possibility of a resulting text neck--is one huge negative effect. Bottom line: Look up a little more and see the world around you. Oh, and your mom said to stand up straight!

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The Healthy(ist) blog is a platform to share, learn about, and debate topics related to public and social health, scientific research, health communications, and behavior change.
We invite and encourage anyone interested in current public health and health communication trends and issues to join MMG's contributing bloggers in adding their voice to the ongoing discussion about how we can advance health, together.

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