Smart phones and tablets have no doubt made our lives easier, bringing a world of information to our fingertips. For many of us however, this has come at a cost to our health and wellbeing.
Lets look at your posture. The way we use our mobile devices is a common cause of neck and shoulder pain. The small screens and tiny font cause us to hunch over and put our head down in order to read. Have you noticed other people with their heads down, chin to chest while reading from their phone and thinking ‘gee that looks uncomfortable’. Only to realise that you are guilty of this also!
Did you know the average weight of an adult’s head is around 5kg? It’s easy to see how much harder the muscles are working when the head is off balance. Is it any wonder why we all get neck and shoulder pain?
Aches and pains that could easily be prevented slip under the conscious radar and find their way into our muscles and joints. Here is our 5 step plan for you to use when using your phone or tablet. It can be done in under a minute and will save you a pain in the neck!
- Its time to RECONNECT. Pay attention to your body. Close your eyes and FEEL what’s going on inside. Is there any pain or tension? If so, where? Does it start at the back of the skull and radiate out across the shoulder, for example?
- Once you’ve located an area of tension ask yourself these questions. What does it feel like? Is it a dull ache, or a sharp shooting sensation? You might think of it as being tight or tense. Describing it to yourself in this way help to make you more aware of your body.
- Notice how you’re breathing. Are you taking full breaths or is your breathing shallow and laboured?
- Now that you have a detailed sense of how you’re feeling and breathing take a few moments to notice what your body is doing and make corrections. Are your shoulders forward or raised? Is your spine straight or are you hunching over? As you correct your posture put your focus on those areas of tension that you noted before.
- What has changed? Is your breathing different? Has that tense spot that you had before diminished or gone away completely?
It is a simple exercise that quickly becomes automatic when done a few times. Most people notice a reduction in muscular tension, deeper breathing and an increase in their overall energy levels when doing these exercises. So the next time you’re using your mobile or tablet, remember these 5 steps and reconnect to your body.