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Have you ever been told to sit up straight to avoid bad posture? That helps your back stay straight but what about when you are consistently looking down at your cell phone? Have you ever heard the term, “Text Neck”?
Did you know that bending your head to look at your mobile device held in your hands can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your neck? The average human head weighs 10 pounds in a neutral position when your ears are over your shoulders. For every inch you tilt your head forward, the pressure on your spine doubles. So if you're looking at a smartphone in your lap, your neck is holding up what feels like 20 or 30 pounds. All that extra pressure puts a strain on your spine and can pull it out of alignment. Staying in what experts call the "forward head posture" can lead to muscle strain, disc herniation and pinched nerves. Over time, it can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck.
Try to take a deep breath in a slumped position. Now sit up straight and try again. Experts say slouching can reduce the capacity of your lungs by as much as 30%. A lack of oxygenated blood flowing through the body can potentially lead to vascular disease, also gastrointestinal problems can be caused by pressure placed on the organs in a bad posture.
What do we do?
Keep using your smart phones, tablets, etc. but be aware of your body. Pay specific attention to where your head is, and get into the habit of keeping it straight up at eye level. This is something that is not only affecting adults but also children as young as 8 years old!