Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but a daily use of computers, phones and tablets creates stress that our bodies just weren’t made for.
“Neck tension, tension headaches, are two of the number one things that I treat from this problem. If you think about, even, just looking at a cell phone, you’re down in this position here. Your head weighs about 10 pounds and so you have this anterior movement of the head that causes all the neck muscles to have to engage and work much harder than they normally do. And that causes the body to really stress out and spasm those muscles,” said Dr. Cathy Subber, Chiropractor at Advanced Health of Naperville.
On top of contributing to potential long-term posture issues, excessive screen use can leave a lasting imprint on our vision due to harmful blue UV light.
“The blue light that bothers our eyes is the fact that it’s damaging the retina. It’s causing problems like age related macular degeneration earlier on, and also our cell phones, which emit that as well. So that’s the part that is damaging, is more for the back of the eye,” said Dr. Maritza Meifert, Optometrist at US Vision.
Some tips to fight the tech stress is to keep your computer screen at a distance where you don’t have to strain your neck or eyes to see it. It’s also important to keep your legs parallel to the floor if you’re sitting at a desk for an extended period of time.
These issues extend beyond those in the working world though; even kids are seeing the side effects.
“One of the things that I think about on a regular basis, as a chiropractor, is that I start seeing little kids earlier and earlier and earlier for some of these issues. Seven year olds shouldn’t come in and see me with migraines. But, from the time they were teeny tiny, they’re on the iPads, they’re on the phones, they’re on the computer,” added Subber.
For kids, and for all of us, the key is to keep track of the amount of time spent on devices, and the position they’re being used in.
Another tip is to lie backwards on an exercise ball to help stretch the neck muscles that tend to get tight.
Naperville News 17’s Rachel Pierson reports.
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