The digital world we live in today has offered a tremendous amount of new creative outlets, economic opportunities, entertainment, and learning possibilities. These advantages do come at a cost for those of us that spend too much time online as opposed to the real world.
Text neck is an increasing problem that I see, as a chiropractor, that is getting worse with the increased amount of screen time we are exposed to.
Ideally when someone looks at us from the side, the middle of our ear will line up with the middle of our shoulder. Due to looking down at a screen all day our bodies get molded in this “forward head posture” position, or what is now referred to as text neck, where the middle of our ear is way in front of the middle of the shoulder.
I feel that when someone has a significant forward head posture it looks like a caveman, and from what research is showing us, the more like a caveman people will act.
Forward head posture, text neck, has been linked to an increase in anger, lack of empathy, decrease of motivation, sensory and motor pathways are blurred resulting in lack coordination, and higher-level cognitive skills that make people human, are diminished.
Here are some stats on phone usage. Overall 1.8 billion people own smartphones and use their devices on a daily basis. Some studies estimate that an average person checks their screen 150 times a day (that seems like a very high average to me). Data shows that nearly 70 percent of 11 to 12-year-old kids use a mobile phone; 90 percent by the age of 14.
So, from the stats above and what I see in public there are a ton of kids with phones. The effect of children sitting around using technology causes flexor dominance of postural muscles and decreased stimulation of balance, sensory and motor areas of the brain. On the other end of the spectrum screen time causes an overwhelming stimulation of visual and auditory systems.
This sensory imbalance is contributing to high rates of ADHD, autism, coordination disorders, developmental delays, learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
One of the best ways to fight this text neck posture would be to take frequent breaks and move your body. If we can be molded to have text neck then that would mean that we can mold ourselves back to a healthy posture. Movement is life and our bodies are not meant to be stuck in one position for long periods of time.
So, keep your chin up, literally, and move your body so you don’t become the next text neck victim.
For more information on exercise in general visit my Move By Design page.