Laptops, tablets and smartphones are here to stay and most of us welcome them. We don’t welcome the backaches and neck pain that is becoming an increasing problem, though. These technologies can literally be a “pain in the neck.”
A recent article in Third Watch by Dr. Lynn Williams, Teenagers warned to sit up straight, cited growing concern amongst chiropractors and other health professions. Over 97 percent of chiropractors surveyed by the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA) agreed that posture training should be introduced in schools to combat the problem.
What is the Problem?
We see people on the street, in buses and cafes every day using their mobile devices. You may be using yours to read this blog. Notice the posture we unconsciously assume when reading something on our smartphone. Instead of holding it up so we can read the text or play a game with our head erect, we tend to hold the device close to the body somewhere around the bottom of our rib cage. It’s a comfortable position for our hands, but over time, the neck becomes sore.
The problem doesn’t stop with our mobile devices. It’s all too easy to hunker down over your laptop or PC, almost frozen in place as you work or browse the internet.
If we spent a few minutes a day in these postures, it might not be a problem, but between work, school and leisure time, we spend 700 to 1400 hours a year on our smartphones alone, according to researchers in the United States.
There’s even a term for the neck aches increasing numbers of people are reporting. The term “text neck” is an apt one, because teenagers spend inordinate amounts of time texting messages to their friends.
The CAA is taking the initiative with their “Straighten Up Australia” campaign. They are currently working primarily with preschool and kindergarten children in hopes of teaching them correct posture before they develop bad habits. In her article, Dr. Williams quoted Dr. John DeVoy, President of the CAANSW:
Studies conducted overseas indicate that 90% of people who adopted the exercises as part of their daily routine reported a postural improvement. Approximately 80% reported that their backs are more comfortable and that they have better core stability after practicing the activities for several weeks.
If you or someone in your family needs postural correction, a chiropractor can help. In just one visit, they can teach you the basics of correct posture and the reasons why it is important.
Do you have any questions or concerns? If so, contact John Petrozzi, our “Chiropractor on Call” for a complementary 10-15 minute telephone call.