The Physical Perils of Texting

Show me someone who does not have neck problems and I will say that this person does not have a smartphone! No matter what the stress level of your job or personal life, nothing does damage to the neck more than constant texting. With an average of two to four hours a day spent with heads bent forward, there is strong research claiming that 700 to 1400 hours per year of this activity is creating intense problems with neck and upper back pain, shoulder tightness, pinched nerves, early arthritis in the cervical vertebrae, and more.

Leaning the head forward as we text is creating intense wear and tear on the ligaments and tendons in the neck, which in turn places enormous pressure on the spine. Just think... the head weighs between 4.5 and 5.4 kilos (10 – 12 lbs) and looking down at your phone increases this weight up to 12 kilos (27 lbs) depending on the angle of your neck. The greater the degree, the greater the pressure on your spine.

Head, neck, and arm pain; numbness in the hands and fingers; strain on the wrists; pain in the palms... all of these symptoms are standard as a result of our relationship with our smartphones. Standing with our chin towards our chests is cutting off circulation and creating a physical environment that is difficult to correct the more chronic it becomes. Combine this with hours of sitting, and you have a formula for danger that is harder to rectify through time.

And then there's the phenomenon of texting while walking! Gone is the thrill of noticing what's going on around you as you welcome instead the possibility of accidents. Not only is your neck in peril, but in this case, your entire body! What happened to enjoying your environment and taking a moment off from the desperate need to communicate?

Here's the point: if you want a healthy body and a healthier life, it is imperative that you take regular breaks from your smartphone. On top of this, you can be creative and use headphones, making calls instead of texting. Or at the very least, hold your phone at eye level when you do text! And the same goes for your computer screen... make sure it is at eye level and not below.

There are many exercises you can do throughout the day to keep your neck healthy and available to maximum circulation. Head and shoulder rolls, as well as back stretches, are easy to do on a break. And don't forget how important it is to keep your core muscles strong. Your abdominal and lower back muscles are essential for supporting the upper body and counteracting the strain you put on your cervical spine when texting.

Find classes like Body Activation that are designed for the perils of today's contemporary lifestyle. Make a promise to honor your body. You will bring much more energy, creativity, and enthusiasm to your work and personal life when you do.

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