Could a Texting Habit or an App Addiction be Harming Your Health?

Texting (27 Jan 10)

Regular texting or gaming on handheld devices is linked to Forward Head Posture.

I’ve frequently admired the posture of the British royals–before the Olympics, but certainly more-so now that they are in the news 24/7. The Queen has a regal quality that perfectly fits her position. As a Chiropractor, I observe that her strictly proper posture has allowed her to age gracefully and stay healthy. But I also know her age and station grant her an unconsidered advantage in the realm of posture: she has not grown up in the age of handheld technology.

Perhaps you’ve been trying to improve your posture using periodic breaks, core work, stretching and awareness of posture. But if you receive texts regularly or play games on your phone, ipad or ipod you could still be a part of the “Forward-Head Posture” epidemic and be treating its symptoms without realizing it.

Have you noticed the position you take while you text? Try it now if your phone is nearby–or even if it isn’t.

If I’m standing, my neck curves slightly over and forward to get a good view of my phone. I hunch ever so slightly and hold my phone a little higher than elbow level. If I’m paying attention to posture, I try to at least contract my abs…but if not, my stomach is left loose and the curve in my lower back is slightly exaggerated.

That is absolutely horrid posture–and it is the posture my body naturally gravitates towards when I text! I’m not alone in this: poor posture reports have increased dramatically with the appearance of the”Tweet Generation”. The American Chiropractor reports: “Texting puts the head 4.5 inches in front of the shoulders. Teens average 11,000 text messages per month, or 30 hours of use” (The American Chiropractor, Ventura, May 2012, 54). I know I do not text nearly that much, but even 1/3 of the average, and I am standing with poor posture for 10 hours during a month!

We’ve had an ever-increasing problem with “Forward-Head Posture” since the invention of the computer, when people began to slouch all day at work. This is not only an adult problem; it is estimated that 30% of school-aged children are experiencing Forward-Head Posture. This “texting” posture now rivals the consequences once held only by the “backpack generation”. And this is an epidemic in all age groups in the U.S., not just schoolchildren.

Instead of addressing the cause, many are treating the symptoms of forward head posture:

TMJ problems

Fractures

Chronic Trigger points

Persistent Asthma and respiratory issues

Headaches

Dizziness

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Reduced Immune System function

Headache

Headaches are frequently caused by posture problems. (Photo credit: Brandon Koger)

What is being done about it?

Not very much. State schools screen children for scoliosis, but they often do not screen for any other spine problems–or the beginnings of other spine problems. In the workplace, Chiropractic is rarely recommended in lieu of a temporary “quick-fix” like Advil.

This is an epidemic that must first be fought on the individual and familial level.

First, take measures to text and play games on handheld devices less. Pay attention to your posture when you do text or spend time on the computer–and encourage others you care about to do the same.

Do you look at your posture? Others do. Ask others to hold you accountable for good posture, and do the same for those you care about.

Children and teens who may be texting for the above-mentioned average of 30 hours need to know that they are at a higher risk for “molded” Forward Head Posture than any past generation.

Visit a Chiropractor. He or she will be able to evaluate you, suggest a treatment plan to correct the cause of the problem, and form a maintenance plan that can help restore and promote proper posture.

If you are considering Chiropractic in the Brooklyn or Basking Ridge areas–or if you just want a little more information–you can visit my website here. Feel free to email drclaps@clapschiropractic.com with any comments or questions you have!

Do you have experience with recovering from or fighting Forward Head Posture or another spinal alignment or posture issue? Please comment and share your story!

Resources:

http://digital.theamericanchiropractor.com/nxtbooks/tac/201205/index.php?startid=50

http://chiroeco.com/chiro-blog/vitality-practice/2011/05/26/top-10-effects-of-the-forward-head-posture-epidemic-3/

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~ by danclaps on August 7, 2012.

2 Responses to “Could a Texting Habit or an App Addiction be Harming Your Health?”

  1. […] it Means for Your Child’s Health5 Tips For The Correction Of Forward Head PostureTypes of PostureCould a Texting Habit or an App Addiction be Harming Your Health #header { background: […]

  2. […] Could a Texting Habit or an App Addiction be Harming Your Health? […]

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