‘Cuz we are living in a technology world and I am a technology girl…
Just kidding – well, kind of. To say we’re not all slightly addicted to what may or may not be the best piece of technology ever invented – our cellular devices – would be a lie. Like it or hate it, since cell phones burst on the scene we’ve been hooked, and we are literally living our lives on our phones.
Don’t agree? Let’s check the facts:
By the end of 2018, a Mobile Marketing Report listed that 80% of the world’s global internet usage was driven by mobile devices. By the end of 2019, the number of smartphone users is expected to surpass 5 billion. FIVE BILLION.
From reading the news, to scanning social media, and everything in between, we rely on our phones. We’re setting our home alarms, changing the thermostat, and even monitoring our home security from our phones. Not to mention all of the ordering we’re doing on Amazon Prime (there are 95 million of us shopping on Amazon by phone, as of 2018). Whoa.
It’s a lot. And with all of the cool new advances in mobile devices made over the last ten years, comes a whole slew of issues associated with excess phone usage.
A yin to every yang, you might say.
If you haven’t yet felt the need take a temporary phone detox, now’s the time to consider it.
Increased risk of chronic pain
Some may call it “text neck” and others may not know what to call it as they scratch their head and wonder why there is a constant soreness in their neck and shoulder area. If you think about the position you take when look at your phone, head crouched down, then apply that to how much time you spend looking at your phone, it should all make perfect sense. "Long periods of cell phone use cause you to arch your neck and hold your body in a strange posture. This can lead to back pain," says Healthcentral.com. Not to mention, poor posture, which is a huge detriment to your spinal health.
“We’re seeing more postural distortions in patients across the board, including kids. They spend so much time working from tablet, laptops and cell phones (when not in school) and it has effects on spinal alignment. Anterior head translation, or forward head posture, effects not only the muscles and soft tissues of the neck, but also spinal structure and the underlying nerves as well,” Dr. Gena, owner and founder of Dr. Gena Chiropractic says.
And how about that pain you may feel in your hands?! If you’ve supersized your phone to any one of the “plus” options, there is no doubt that you feel the strain in your hands, particularly in your thumb, pinky finger, and wrist, by day’s end. “Cell phones require constant use of your hands, especially when sending text messages and e-mails. Responding to messages at rapid speed can cause pain and inflammation of your joint,” as written in this Medical Daily report.
Staring at your mobile device can cause vision problems later on in life. Since the screens are smaller on our phones than on laptops or desktop computers, we’re straining and squinting our eyes much more than we realize. According to The Vision Council, more than 70 percent of Americans don't know or are in denial that they are susceptible to digital eye strain.
Increased stress levels
Perhaps the most concerning symptom of excess cell phone usage reported, is the fact that being dependent on your phone has been contributed to increased stress levels. Feeling obligated to check or respond to each message that comes in, habitually scrolling through your emails and social media channels, as well as feeling overwhelmed when your inbox starts to pile up, all cause us anxiety whether we realize it or not.
In short? Take a break! Allow yourself a device-free period each and every day to disconnect from the small cellular world’s we’ve gotten ourselves so wrapped up in. Use this time to read, take a brisk walk, or just exist without the constant nag of the tiny dictator in your back pocket.
You’ll feel much better for it, we promise! Remember your health is in your hands, but our hands at Dr. Gena Chiropractic are here to help, just 15 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale.