I don’t even flinch anymore when I see someone crossing a busy intersection typing on their cell phone. I just “heart” whatever Instagram pic I’m looking at and cross the street myself.
This is the new normal: smartphones at the center of our lives. Of course, technology can be amazing. Yesterday I edited a yoga video on my phone while riding the bus. The bad news is that constantly hunching over these devices is destroying our posture.
In 2008, the term “text neck” was coined by a doctor to describe the phenomenon. Just by looking at people around the office, on the street, or at the bar, it’s clear it’s become a national epidemic. According to research, your head weighs about 10 pounds in a neutral position. But if you move it forward just 15 degrees, it feels more like 27 pounds to your neck. At 30 degrees, it feels like 40 pounds, and at 45 degrees, almost 50 pounds. Ouch.
The result: muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks, painful headaches, and more. And as our phones evolve into mini-computers, we’re glued to them for hours—up to four per day, research suggests. This adds up to 700 to 1,400 hours per year—and up to 5,000 for high schoolers, who are most at risk for developing spinal issues and even needing surgery, experts say.
The good news? Doing some simple stretches can help you eliminate the pain and strain on your neck and spine. Even better, you don’t need a yoga mat, yoga clothes, or even the willpowe…