What your smartphone is doing to you and how to fix this

You will notice that people are all staring at their phones. You may have to take your eyes off of your phone to notice this. Not only are people fixated on their screens. They are bending down towards the black hole that we call phones, but which are used more for multimedia entertainment.

Gravity and mindlessness have shaped our devices. Content is endless on these new devices. We use our entire body when we browse the web, which we do a lot.

The forward head/techneck posture is often used to describe the phone posture, but this full-body activity has an impact on your entire body… from your eyes down to your feet.

When you use a phone, your neck and head are constantly moving.

The phone used to be placed between the shoulder and the ear. Phones have always been a nuisance.

Smartphones today may have different health movements, but they are often characterized by head and neck movements in extreme positions for long periods of time. For our devices to work, we don’t have to adopt a “device-shaped” posture. We don’t think about the best way to position ourselves. We can choose our position even when we use a smartphone.

Head ramps

Keep your spine straight by using your upper back muscles.

Keep your eyes focused on the horizon while you lift and slide your neck up and back toward the wall behind. This simple adjustment will decompress your vertebrae and stretch your neck, upper back, and head muscles. You’ll instantly grow taller. Use your eyes to look down at your smartphone. No need to bend the spine.

You can also improve your reflexiveness by changing your environment. Add a “WHERE IS HEAD AT?” post-it note or a decal of a head-ramp to your tablet or phone. You can place a reminder in the corner of your screen.

When you look at your phone, you are constantly moving your eyes.

The ciliary muscles are a group of muscles in a ring shape that surrounds the eyeball. When you focus on something close to your face, like a book or phone, this muscular ring will contract and shorten. By focusing on something that is at least quarter mile away, the muscles will be able to relax and lengthen.

You can keep your eye muscles healthy by moving through their full range of motion multiple times per day. We only use a small part of our eye muscles because we spend so much time indoors and on screens.

Face away from screen

You already know how to do a head ramp. The head ramp is good for the upper and middle back curves, but it also helps to adjust the distance between your eyeballs and point of focus.

Set a timer that will remind you to take a break from your screen and look around. If you’re inside, you can focus on something distant for a few moments. By moving away from your device, you can refocus your attention for a few moments (or even an entire minute) on something else. It’s not relaxing to watch YouTube videos with cool animals. Instead, you should be watching the birds, bugs and natural world around.

Look for other solutions or ways to connect that do not require online access. Listen to your phone instead of just watching. Video calling does not mean that you must use it just because it is possible. Voice-only chats are more useful than video calls.

Your Phone Is Moving Your Lungs

The phones are not to blame, but how we use them. Your lungs’ ability to move is affected when you are sedentary. Sitting up straighter and switching scrolling to movement will help. You can also do exercises that reduce upper back curvature.

Execute this move to begin.

Stretch your upper back, shoulders and neck

Place your hands counter-height against a wall, desk or counter. Separate your hands from your hips by walking your feet backwards. Stretch your phone-hunch by lowering your chest.

When you use a phone, your hands are always moving.

Raise your hand if you’re on your phone a lot more than before. Is your hand raised holding a smartphone or other electronic device? These stretches can help.

Three movements will help you move your hands more and in a way that is different from the death grip with index finger. Bonus: To perform these stretches, you have to put your phone down. More stretches can be found in Rethink Your Position by Propriometrics Press, May 2023.

Stretch your thumbs

The thumbs are vital for smartphone use, especially when you’re using them to text or hold the phone. This stretch will keep your thumbs away from grabbing. Make a loose fist with your thumb facing upward. Grab your thumb with the left hand and slowly move it toward you from side to side, at different angles.

Stretch your wrists

Hold your hands in place or slowly move them up and down or left to right, in front your torso. Hold your hands there or move them slowly up and down, or from left to right, in front of your torso. Keep your thumbs together!

Stretch your nerves

Even nerves need to be able move! Then, make a T with your arms and say “STOP!” Make a “STOP!” motion with your hands. Spread your fingers while slowly moving your fingertips toward your head. Keep your thumbs up front, middle finger pointed upwards, and elbows slightly bent toward the ground. Imagine reaching your upper arm bone as you move your fingertips toward the midline.

It’s impossible to walk with your phone in the way

Why is it that the number of people ditching their shoes with stiff soles and narrow toe boxes has increased so much? The movement of some parts of the feet is restricted by conventional shoes. Certain features can influence gait elements such as stride length, speed of walking and the muscles used. What? You can walk differently if you are using your smartphone.

As people struggle to put down their phones, more and more people use them on the move. Talking or listening to the phone while walking takes some of your attention away from visual information. It’s not the walking itself that affects you, but rather the scrolling or texting. When you are “on the phone”, walking becomes less important. Your walking pace will be affected by your slowing down and reducing your step size. You will become less stable, and you are more likely to miss out on visual information.

You can’t do anything to improve your walking if you scroll. If you’re on the street, instead of scrolling, use self-control. If you can, switch the video for audio. Also, if scrolling is necessary, stop walking.

Influencers, use your phone as an influencer

As members of a particular culture, we all have an influence on each other. It is hard to imagine life without smartphones. These devices are only a few years old. We do not know how the brain and body will respond to such widespread use in the future.

Maintain your strength, mobility and other smartphone skills. Share this information with family and friends. Share with your family and friends health the steps you’re taking to use your smartphone more mindfully. Influence other people! Influence others by showing them how to use their smartphones in a sustainable manner and how you can maximize the benefits of the technology while minimising the negative ones.

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