Mobile gadgets—you stare at them every freaking day, probably for more hours than you actually look at your own spouse, kids, or even your pets. And when you look at these mobile gadgets, with all that hunching, can put some serious strains into your body. Read below and find out if your go-to position
is going to be your doctor’s worst nightmare and how you can fix it to alleviate your aches and pains.
1.The text hunch
The Position: Head down, your mobile phone at the level of your
belly button and your chin tucked-in.
How this hurts you: A study published in the journal Surgical Technology International showed that lowering the head to create text messages on your phone puts a force of about 60 pounds (equivalent to four bowling balls) on your spinal cord. Plus, the
said position does not even involve a nice head tilt. If you keep on leaning towards this position, it might lead to the faster degeneration of your spine.
How you can fix it: To counter this, bring your mobile phone up to the level of your chest or even slightly higher and start looking down at the screen with just your eyes and not your entire head.
2.The laptop slump
The position: You’re sitting cross-legged on the couch with your
gadget on your lap, while you round your back and look down on it.
How this hurts you: When you do this position, you risk putting a strain on your neck and also taxes your lower back in the process. Being in this position frequently can lead to the disks in your lower back to do a backward bulge, which could eventually herniate. If you’re getting into a lotus position, you should know what good posture should feel or look like.
How you can fix it: Place your laptop on a table, get a chair you can sit on and start typing away. Moving your laptop to a table allows you to keep a neutral and more comfortable position for your spine. If a table or a countertop is not available, make sure that you put a pillow on your lap to place your laptop on and make it a habit to rest and stretch your back and limbs every once in a while.
3.The iPad thigh rest
The Position: You sit in your bed with your thighs bent and your table placed in it. Your head is thrust forward to gaze on the screen.
How this hurts you: There isn’t any real ergonomic or comfortable way to look at a tablet and thrusting your head too much to get a better look at the screen creates too much flexion on the neck and might lead to pain.
How you can fix it: Lie on your side making sure that you’re holding your tablet steady with one hand. Ensure that you switch sides (and hands) every few minutes or so.
4.The treadmill lean
The Position: You are hitting the treadmill and craning your neck to watch what’s on the TV screen at the same time.
How this hurts you: Getting your neck angled up to look at the TV screen that’s probably attached to a wall can throw you off-balance. Doing that can also demand a lot more from your joints, ligaments, bones and muscles which can make them tire faster. When muscles get tired or fatigued, they can no
longer be reliably counted on to do what they’re supposed to be doing. In essence, what you may perceive as good form may turn out to be poor form in reality.
How you can fix it: If you love to catch up on your fave shows while working out, then opt for a treadmill that’s got a built-in screen as much as possible as this will keep your gaze as straight as possible. If your gym happens to only have TVs hanging on walls, choose a machine that’s directly in line with the screens.
5.The couch flop
The position: You lie on your stomach on the couch with your tablet on the floor; your neck and head hanging off the side.
How this hurts you: Gravity is trying to bend your neck more and your neck gets busy trying to fight it which can lead to strains on your muscles and ligaments. Another likely effect is back pain.
How you can fix it: Lie completely on your back and hold your tablet above your head using both hands. Your arms can only hold your tablet comfortably for a few minutes at a time which forces you to make periodic stops for rest, giving your muscles their much-needed break.