Article written by: Alena Walrath, LPTA
There are several ways that technology has made our lives better. We can now communicate with people across the world in an instant, access a vast database of information at the touch of a button, and save time and eliminate waste by keeping electronic records. Despite countless benefits, there is at least one major drawback to technology that comes to mind:
Take a moment to think about what you are doing right now. Are you reading this blog post from a computer? A smartphone? What about an iPad? How are you sitting or standing? Are your shoulders rounded forward? Are you slouched back in a chair? Are you bending your neck forward as you look at the screen?
We often use technology so focused on obtaining information or for entertainment that it’s easy to overlook how the use of technology affects our posture. Repeated use of these technological devices with poor posture can have long-term consequences. Some of these consequences are obvious like back and neck pain, but others like headaches, muscle tightness or pinched nerves may surprise you.
Here are some quick tips for better posture to avoid future health problems:
- If you are using a computer, the top of the screen should be at eye level to keep your neck in a neutral position and avoid straining your neck with a forward head position. Even if you are using another device like an iPad or smartphone, try to avoid the forward head position when possible by keeping your ears directly over your shoulders. Proper lighting can also help you avoid straining your neck in order to see the screen of your technological device.
- Make sure your wrists are in a neutral position (not bent forward or back) when typing or texting instead of leaning on your wrists.
- When using a touch screen device, use a stylus or other fingers to avoid overuse of your thumbs
- If you are sitting, maintain the curve in your low back. If your chair does not have adequate support, this can be accomplished by using a lumbar roll placed in the small of your back. You can create your own simply by using a rolled up towel.
- Also, if you are sitting in a chair, make sure your feet are flat on the floor and avoid crossing your legs or leaning to one side; and, sit back into the chair, not on the edge.
Find out more about how you can help alleviate symptoms related to posture. Contact Physical Therapy Specialists, PC for additional tips and a consultation at 248-362-2150. We can create a personalized therapy program to meet your needs.