We virtually live on our phones. Most of you are probably reading this on your phone at this very moment. 95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind, and 77% own a smart phone. Matter of fact, statistics show that 69% of people keep their phone next to their bed, making it the first and last thing you look at everyday. So essentially, we never let our phone out of sight. This being true, we spend A LOT of our everyday lives looking down at our phones. On average 4.7 hours per day to be exact. This has led to what has become a set of spinal problems in those both young and old that is now all too common.
How Should I Use My Phone?
What I know is that we are not going to stop using our phones. This being true, how can we do it the best way possible to help minimize trauma to our neck and upper back? Putting your neck at a 60 degree angle (generally what the average person does using there phone) will put 60 lbs. of pressure on your neck and upper back. This leads to serious strain and ultimately damage to your spine. Let's not wait for this damage to occur.
Here are four ideas to help guide you in the right direction.
- Raise your phone up to chin height. This will allow you to keep your head and neck in a neutral position, and looking straight ahead.
- Don't stick your neck forward to look at the screen. Keep your head back up over your shoulders.
- Keep your shoulders square. Another product of cell phone use is rounded shoulders. Focus on keeping your shoulders back while looking straight ahead.
- Relax. Many people keep a lot of tension in both their neck and upper back while holding their phone. Try keeping a relaxed posture.
Aside from simply spending less time on your phone, these simple modifications can have a tremendous effect on reducing the strain placed on your spine. As I mentioned earlier, if you aren't going to spend less time on your phone, at least do it properly.
As you may have noticed, I end each of my blog posts with "LIVE well. BE well."
Here is the heart behind why I do that...
The "L" stands for LOVE: so that others feel cared for.
The "I" stands for INTEGRITY: to be inspired by.
The "V" stands for VISION: to see the world differently.
The "E" stands for EMPOWERMENT: to truly LIVE.
I believe that when I LIVE out those four core values in my every day life, I will...BE well.
That is my hope for you, too.
LIVE well. BE well.