The reasons why I don’t text are mounting, and now reinforced by the latest information that we aren’t physically designed to hold our average-weight 12-pound heads in a continuous lowered position (like staring downward at an iPod or cell phone) for the 5 hours or so that people spend texting or gaming, etc..
A syndrome called Text Neck adds, inch by inch as the neck bends lower toward the pad, as much as 60 pounds of strain to the neck & shoulder muscles. Over time the weight can even change straight posture to become an outward curve at the shoulder area. The 60 pounds of strain is compared to carrying an 8 pound baby around your neck.
Teens and Millennium-aged (college and early adulthood) are particularly prone to frequent and long periods of texting and gaming. We’ve all had to dodge the totally oblivious communicators who are texting and walking along, not watching for anybody or any traffic. The Baby Boomers’ generation is catching up pretty quick, too. Another side effect of this obsession with texting is feeling the need to be accessible or in constant technical/social communication. Certainly when a parent or guardian is on-call there is good reason to have instant communication, but for the most part that is not the case.
Text Neck is recognized by physicians and easy to look up on Google, simply type in Text Neck and several sites come up. The usual first suggestion is to stop texting or computer time every 15 minutes and raise the head to look forward, releasing muscle strain. Yoga upper body stretches or Pilates helps loosen the muscles and also encourages straight posture. Limit the amount of technology time spent every day. If the pain and shoulder soreness continues there is reason to see the doctor and be evaluated.
Meanwhile, when out among the public, try keeping the technology pocketed and pay attention to where you’re going. Please don’t bump into me in the grocery aisle: I don’t dodge and weave too well.