Did you know that checking your smart phone too often has an impact on your posture and overall health? According to the American Journal of Pain Management “Posture effects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity.” Poor posture has also been linked to “a trend towards greater mortality” in an article by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
What is Normal Posture?
Normal posture is defined as an equilibrium in which there is no strain on the ligaments and a minimum expenditure of muscular force to maintain spinal alignment of the head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Am I at Risk?
The biggest risk factor in poor posture is the smart phone in the palm of your hand. Over the past 7 years mobile usage has grown from less than 30 minutes a day to 6 times this at nearly 3 hours a day for an average adult! This forward head tilt occurs every time we look at our phone and effectively changes the weight of the head from 10-12 pounds to as much as 60 pounds. Over time, this puts excessive strain on the spinal joints and causes tension within the muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back.
How Do I Improve My Posture?
To begin with, start holding your smart phone at eye level. This will prevent you from excessively flexing your head forward. Additionally, squeeze your shoulder blades together 5 times every time you look at your smart phone as this will help strengthen your mid back.
For a personalized exercise routine to combat the effects of poor posture ask us for exercises that can be done on a regular base to strengthening the muscles of your neck and upper back. The earlier you start, the better – do them not only for your posture but for your overall well-being!
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About the author: Friederike is the VP of Business Development and Marketing Strategy at WebExercises. She previously worked for Reebok, BMW, and the Adidas Group in the US and Asia and is an ACE certified personal trainer and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist.