Mobile Devices, Indispensable Friends or a Pain in the Neck?



September 24, 2012

Mobile devices (smart phones, iPads, tablets, etc) are nice to have. They keep us entertained, help use keep in touch with friends and family, and assist us with getting more work done. In short, they make our lives easier and nicer. As a result, many of us own multiple mobile devices and have become obsessive users. Texting while waiting in the line, emailing while eating lunch, and watching a movie while riding in the car, it’s almost like we couldn’t live without mobile devices.

However, excessive use of mobile devices can affect our health. When texting, emailing, or playing games using mobile devices, our head is often titled, shoulders slumped, and back hunched. This poor posture puts great pressure on the spine, especially the neck region (cervical spine). Maintaining this posture for an extended period, which many mobile device users do, can cause eye fatigue, headache, and a sore neck. Over time, the constant pressure on the spine can lead to spine problems, including disc herniation and pinched nerves, which we know can cause neck pain.

Teenagers and young adults are especially prone to neck pain caused by extensive use of mobile devices. As savvy users, many teenagers spend several hours a day on mobile devices, which partially explains why neck and back pain in young adults is so common nowadays.

To avoid the problem, mobile device lovers need to keep a few things in mind. First, do remember that frequent and extensive use of mobile devices can cause neck pain and other health problems such as repetitive strain injuries. Second, practice good posture, which means keep head and back straight and shoulders pulled back while standing, and keep feet flat on the floor when sitting. And third, take frequent breaks to roll your neck, stretch your arms, legs, and back, and if possible, take a walk to relax the muscles and increase blood flow.

Mobile devices are great inventions. If used properly, they can make our lives easier. But if used improperly, they can be a pain in the neck. So be a smart user, and use them properly.