We’ve all had parents that say how mobile phones are ruining our health.
The internet has even made a meme out of our parent’s tendency to blame our smartphones for every small disease. Your parents may not be right about your phone causing that running nose. But, according to recent research, but it’s definitely capable of doing a lot worse.
This recent white paper breaks down and analyzes the key aspects of the study: “Assessment of stresses in the cervical spine caused by posture and position of the head” as published in the Surgical Technology International Journal in 2014. Using mobile phones was always said to have medical consequences like weakening the eyesight. But, as a matter of fact,
those problems are nothing compared to the effects of using a smartphone on your posture.
This study was conducted to see how exactly a mobile phone could alter your body’s structure.
The study was based on a simple concept: People bend their head in a forward direction while on their phones. Constantly using that unnatural position can cause severe physical difficulties and modify bone structures in an undesirable way. And billions of people are falling prey to this epidemic every single day.
This uncontrollable use has been producing an alarming amount of pressure on the tissues of the cervical spine of the users. That pressure causes unwanted spinal problems and bone misalignments. The results of this study were extremely astonishing. It showed that using our mobile phones could be the root cause behind constant backaches and bone problems.
The real objective behind the research was to discover the magnitude of the force applied on the cervical spine as the body is contorted forward while using a mobile device.
For this specific study, the head weight was supposed to be 13.2 pounds, which is the average weight of a human head.
However, this number does not remain constant and seemingly fluctuates when a person is using his/her smartphone. The weight on your shoulders is amplified when your head is aligned at a certain degree:
- 0° changed the weight from 13.2 pounds to 23-25 pounds.
- 15° degree added another 27 pounds.
- 30° increased the total weight by 40 pounds.
- 45° increased the weight by 49 pounds.
- 60° added a huge 60 pounds on the cervical spine.
Our heads are bend completely at an angle of 60° when using our mobile devices. That means that the weight on your spine and neck is the maximum it could possibly be. These weights, applied for just a couple of hours each day, could completely misalign your whole cervical spine and cause a long list of severe issues, some of which were discussed in the study.
The study defined proper posture as a posture where the ears are perfectly aligned with the shoulders and scapula when retracted. At the same time, poor posture occurs when the head is always tilted in a forward position and the shoulders are drooping forward at the same time.
- Increased pressure on the cervical spine can often lead to degeneration and surgeries. However, with proper alignment of the spine, these issues can be dissipated.
- A higher testosterone level increased serotonin, and a decrease in cortisol are all signs of a proper bone structure. While a poor posture results in a reduction of testosterone level and serotonin and an increase in cortisol.
The study also put out certain analysis:
- An average person spends up to four hours of their day with their neck bent looking at a mobile device.
- This adds up to 1400 hours of extra stress on the cervical spine per year.
- High school teens may spend an extra 5000 hours annually with their head bent forward.
Technology is seemingly ruling every single aspect of our lives. and the younger a person is, the more hours they are on their smart phone every single day. This is extremely alarming. The current 2-4 hours of tilted heads is already dangerous enough to ruin the quality of life for most people.
People are spending 700-1400 hours a year, on average, with their head drooped downwards. They are staring at a screen and reading messages or sending out tweets. This ends up creating a poor posture which negatively impacts every process going on inside the body. Poor posture also declines your body’s performance through the endocrine system. Poor alignment of your spine can also result in adverse effects on your testosterone, serotonin and cortisol levels.
This research has concluded definitely that while we can’t control or limit the use of mobile devices, we can indirectly counter poor posture. There is an increased need for medical practitioners that can help with fixing a person’s posture. These medical practitioners are chiropractors. They are the world’s defense in the war with the epidemic known as bad posture. Chiropractors do not just relieve patients from temporary pain. They also aim to make the patient’s life easier and more convenient.
Chiropractors can teach exercises to strengthen the spine. They spread awareness regarding the major cause of the spinal misalignment, so the patient doesn’t have to visit the doctor’s office again for the same exact problem. In short, chiropractors are the key leaders that can help men, women, and kids suffering from spinal problems and improve their posture to help them lead a healthier and prolonged life. So, to sum up the conversation, listen to your parents, they may not hold medical degrees, but they can be right sometimes.