Is Technology Changing our Posture?
What we repeat, we strengthen. Whether it is healthy habits, or… not so healthy habits, more we do it – the more apt we are to do it again. Think about this in the context of your daily activities. Likely you wake up around the same time each morning, go about a very regular morning routine, and at the same time each day – off to work you go. Once there, you park yourself behind your computer screen and there you sit for the next eight hours. Pay attention to that last part… there you sit for the next eighthours. Eight hours a day for five days a week you likely sit in the same position in front of a computer screen. What we repeat, we strengthen.
For most of us, work is non-negotiable and the use of technology is inevitable. Technology is certainly not a bad thing, however the amount of time we spend in the same position in front of a screen can be. Sitting with poor posture for 40+ hours a week can have major impacts on our health. From chronic back pain to becoming more susceptible to injury – over time, a little slouch can make a big impact.
Posture stems beyond the office. Take note of the way you tilt your head forward and down when looking at your phone, or the way your child sits when playing video games. The more technology saturates our daily lives, the more we need to pay attention to how we hold ourselves as we use it.
If you are feeling the effects of technology posture, here are a few tips you can implement that may help.
- Strengthen Your Back
When we constantly sit in a forward position, such as hands on a keyboard, our back muscles can become overstretched and weak. Furthermore, our chest and hips may become tight and closed off. Countering a forward position through exercises that strengthens the back muscles can help to re-open the front line of the body.
- Mix it Up
Many tools exist today that can improve the position of your workspace, and your posture. Elect a standing station for your desk that moves your screen from sitting height to standing height. Trade your desk chair for a big exercise ball. If these tools are not readily available to you, you can simply stack a few sturdy books under your computer so you can look straight ahead at your screen, rather than down.
- Hold Your Phone Up
Have you ever heard of tech-neck? This is the unofficial term for a flattening of the cervical spine curve due to the forward-and-down head position we take when looking at our phones. When you are scrolling your favorite app, try holding your phone up at eye level, rather than down in your lap. This may feel a little awkward, but can improve the positioning of your cervical spine immensely.
The first step to changing a habit or pattern is becoming aware. Although it may be challenging to remember to maintain proper posture all day long, even a small shift can make a big difference long-term.