At Revolution Chiropractic we take a structural correction approach to your spine and one of the big indicators of spinal dysfunction is forward head carriage. The head is basically a bowling ball balanced on the top of your spine and every inch it moves forward causes an exponential increase in how hard the muscle must work to continue to hold it up. The issues go much deeper than neck discomfort, this poor postural position increases the tension on your spinal cord, puts you at greater risk of a strain injury to your neck, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine and can cause nerve root impingement, which let me assure you is not fun at all.
What is really concerning is the amount of children we are seeing with this postural issue. Chiropractors are seeing more and more children as patients with issues linked to forward head posture and a HUGE contributing factor is the amount of time they are spending on handheld screen devices. I have personally seen many children with their necks bent to 90 degrees as they stare at a tablet or phone on their lap.
According to the NZ Ministry of Health children age 5-17 should spend less than 2 hours per day sitting and using screens, and this time should not be continuous but rather broken up through the day.
On top of smart devices creating postural problems they are also reducing the amount of physical activity that kids are getting and reducing the creativity of tactile play. For the health of your children we strongly recommend you reduce the amount of time they spend on devices, perhaps reward them with some screen time after some physical activity. It is much easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults! Remember that kids imitate those around them, especially their parents, and let’s face it, we could all benefit from spending less time on our mobile devices.
When you are using your phone or tablet make sure you hold it up at eye level to keep a healthy posture. Your arms getting tired from holding them up is a great reminder to take a break!