Smartphone slouching causing “Text Neck” and “iPosture”

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

spinal problems
If you don’t watch your posture, you can develop severe health problems over time.

As children and teens bend towards those little flickering smartphone, tablet, and computer screens for hours and hours, they’re risking potential damage to the back, spine, and neck. With an estimated 8.83 hours spent in front of gadgets every day, young adults are beginning to suffer from what medical experts are calling “iPosture” and “Text Neck”.

A recent survey of 3,000 adults ages 18 to 24 found that 84% reported back pain, leading Dr. Brian Hammond of the UK health organization BackCare to explain, “It is likely that slumping and hunching over computers and hand-held devices is a… factor in the different types of back pain reported by different generations.” He goes on to point out that youth “are far more likely to be hunched over a device on a sofa” and that they should pay better attention “to the basics of good posture.”

So, whether you’re sitting or standing, try to maintain an upright posture and keep your back straight. Not only can poor posture cause short-term pain, it can increase your risk of a surprising number of chronic (long-term) health problems. An alarming Australian study found that after age 25, every hour of slouching on the couch reduced life expectancy by 21.8 minutes, doubled the risk of developing diabetes (blood sugar imbalance), and also made heart disease more likely.

Poor posture can also contribute to being in a bad mood, poor blood flow through your veins, uneven digestion from scrunched intestines, higher stress levels, lower confidence, and it can even make people view you as weaker and less impressive. Whoa!

Featured image courtesy of Tom Bream on Flickr. Image of texting boy courtesy of Randy Pertiet on Flickr.