It seems the entire world is immersed in digital media. It has become a part of almost everything we do. Cell phones, once considered a luxury item are now prevalent in most homes and viewed as a necessity. Many parents see them as an important factor in keeping their kids safe by being able to contact them at any time or place. While this solves some issues, it’s raising others…
Today’s younger generation, (toddlers to teens) are being raised with mobile devices. Though kids’ slouching has been an ongoing issue (usually due to laziness or not knowing the proper way to sit or stand), kids today are developing terrible posture because of how they position their bodies while using these devices. As they peer into the device, they are usually hunched over with their shoulders rolled forward, and heads down.
Poor posture can lead to constricting of the chest cavity, which in turn causes problems with blood flow and getting full deep breaths, and over time can cause a whole host of chronic health conditions. When a person doesn’t get full enough breaths, the cardiovascular system doesn’t work at full efficiency because it’s compressed. When proper lung capacity isn’t continuously utilized, it becomes a struggle to get deep breaths. Over the short-term, kids will most likely be tired and low on energy. But there’s more… There are nerves in the upper back that control the heart and lungs that can eventually deform. If the spine deforms at an early age, there is constriction and the possibility of disrupting their nerve supply in the upper back which can further effects on heart, lungs and even stomach digestion. And because there is constant tension on the neck as well, they are far more likely to develop chronic headaches.
Having the head bent forward too often can also produce ill effects. Every inch of forward head posture places an additional 10 lbs of pressure on the muscles and joints of the neck. Good news is that it can be corrected. Young people can be fully corrected because the bones are still growing (usually until the early 20’s). While the bones are still growing there is a possibility for full correction because you can literally guide the growth, But everyone can benefit with a combination of posture correction as well as chiropractic care and corrective exercises.
One thing I do in my clinic is show patients what good posture is. When children are taught at a young age how to “stand up straight” it can virtually shape the way they carry themselves throughout life (not only with posture, but showing confidence as well!) Teach your kids an example of good posture by having them stand with their back against the wall with heels, glutes, upper back and back of head against the wall with the chin somewhat down.
And follow some of these Tips for Texting:
- Maintain an upright posture while texting – Avoid bending your head down and rounding your shoulders
- Hold your phone up to face level when using
- Rest the thumbs by using alternative fingers
- Utilize voice-to-text so you can speak you’re message that will be typed out
- Use a neutral grip when holding the device. A neutral grip is when the wrist is straight, not bent in either direction
- Reduce your keystrokes. More keystrokes equals more strain on your hands and thumbs—so keep your messages brief