We live in the era of Smartphone or, rather than that, we no longer live without it and its screens, either small or large. The size does not matter. What matters is that they are always connected and ready to steal our attention.
Everywhere, there is someone typing, zapping, or looking at a screen. And because of it we adopt a posture which, over time, can become a problem. Have you ever stopped to think how many hours a day you spend looking down at a mobile screen?
Then there comes a problem: this position alters the normal state of the body, and it, in turn, trying to adapt to the movement to the new position, may require muscle compensation that, in the long run, will result in pain, explains physiotherapist Dalton Faria, a partner of our Portal, Sport Health.
The movement of tilting the head forward promotes overloading of the muscles of the neck, especially the trapezius muscles.
A recent study (Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head) evaluates the burden of cervical spine with different degrees of inclination.
The weight of the head on the cervical spine may scare you. Look:
15 ° tilt corresponds to an overload of 12kg.
30 ° an overload of 18kg.
45 ° an overload of 22kg.
60 ° an overload of 27kg.
And such kind of weight, over time, can cause pain in cervical spine, covering the neck and shoulder regions, well known as neck pain.
Yet, according to the study, it is expected a future epidemic of cervical pain as a result of postural changes. We must try to change it!
According to Dr. Liszt Palm, an Orthopaedist and Traumatologist, and a partner of the Blog Sport Health, “spending too much time in that position overloads muscles, joints and ligaments of the cervical spine, especially in those who already have some degree of joint degeneration. And that pain is the first symptom that something is wrong. It can appear on the neck, back, elbows or even on the wrists.”
Dr. Liszt suggests some simple steps that can prevent these pains.
1) Perform regular exercises to keep the muscles with the strength and the elasticity adequate to accomplish the tasks of daily life;
2) Reduce the length of time spent in the posture that causes the problem; avoid excess.
3) When using the phone, try to put it leveled with the face and not below the chest. “Not only when using the smartphone, but according to ergonomics, any object that we have to view. It is interesting to work at the eye level, with the neck erect. As we have seen above, the greater the inclination of the neck, the greater the burden on it” adds Dr. Dalton Faria.
As we have seen, a normal daily action, such as a simple glance at the phone, over time, can cause problems and even unexpected pain.
I know it’s hard, but knowing the risks, every time you find yourself looking down to use the phone, change position and lift the device at eye level. This little change will help you a lot, and your body will thank you.
Remember: Smartphones, only at eye level!!