Are you the parent of a teen or pre-teen and noticing changes to their posture? Or, do you spend a lot of time on your own mobile device and worried about how it may be affecting your neck and spine?
Did you know that the average American teenager spends approximately 68% of their day on a laptop, tablet or mobile device? Adults spend up to 38%, so we’re not much better but teens in that critical development stage really need to make sure that they’re not causing damage to their spine while using their devices.
All of this time on our phones and tablets is leading many, particularly in America, into a more sedentary lifestyle. Not only are we sitting more, we’re often in a hunched position which can cause strain to the neck and spine. You may even notice changes in your neck alignment, muscle strain around the neck and other spinal differences. Not to mention, changes in your vision caused by excessive screen time.
As parents, we can lead by example. Are you using your phone at the dinner table and during family outings? Have you ever examined how much time you spend on the phone? There are apps that help you track your time and usage of your phone and other devices and if you’re in that 35-40% category, might you want to cut down on your use to set an example for your kids?
It’s also important that when we use our devices, as adults, that we demonstrate proper seating and posture so that our children will mirror our behaviors. When you make it a priority, you show your kids to do the same.
Your local chiropractor can help you and your teens understand the relation between spinal adjustment and positioning of your mobile devices. Just ask us – we’re happy to show you the most effective ways to cut down on neck and spinal strain while playing games and snapchatting with friends.
We also want to remind all of our readers that driving while distracted can be deadly. You, your passengers and the other drivers and pedestrians on the road deserve your attention and respect. Your car is a deadly weapon already. When you add in your mobile device, you are arming that weapon. We encourage you to put your phone into your purse and tuck it in the back seat to keep from being tempted, or at the very least place it safely into your center console. If you’re using a mapping app on your phone, please safely install a phone stand with a suction cup to your dash so that you are keeping your eyes at road-level. Looking down at your phone is not only unsafe, it is also potentially contributing to your posture problems.
Teens need to develop good posture skills and as adults, we can encourage them with our own safe practices in posture. Watch for some upcoming videos on Facebook where we demonstrate good phone and spinal/posture tips!