In the modern world we find ourselves spending more and more time looking at screens. This is particularly true now that those screens are becoming increasingly portable, as can be seen with tablets and phones.
The average person’s head weighs between about 4 and 6 kg. When we bend our necks forward 60 degrees, as we do to use our phones, the effective stress on our neck increases to 30 kg.
The use of devices such as phones and tablets has been shown to have a negative effect on posture leading to slumped positions and excessive bending of the neck. Prolonged poor posture can result in:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Changes in your mood
- Poor memory
- Poor breathing patterns
- Restrict motion causing compensations through the mid and lower back.
It is for this reason that it is important that we:
- Maintain good posture and avoid slouching or slumping forward
- Hold the device as close to eye level as possible
- Avoid bending forwards too much through the head and neck – reducing stress on the neck
- Take regular breaks to rest your eyes
- Change position regularly
- Focus on your breathing while using your device to avoid screen aponea
Consider using a posture retraining device like Posture Medic to assist you in maintaining good upper back and neck posture and spend 5-10 minutes at the end of each day on a half or full foam roller.
These devices can help to remind us about our posture and to help reverse the effects of a long days worth of poor positioning.These devices are available at EHP Physiotherapy.