How Texting Actually Affects Your Body

How much time do you spend texting? According to Pew Research Center, almost three quarters of cell phone users text on a regular basis. A typical 18-24 year old sends/receives an average of 50 texts every single day. While older adults are likely to send a few less, thereís no debate: we text a lot. But have you ever stopped to consider how all this texting is affecting your body?

Your neck. Your head is heavy ó 10 to 12 pounds. Imagine it were replaced by a bowling ball. Think about how heavy that would feel when you lean forward. Consider how hard your neck would have to work to keep from collapsing. Well, thatís exactly whatís happening when youíre constantly looking down to text. Hunching over to a 60 degree angle substantially increases the stress load on your spine up to 60 pounds instead of 10. Itís a real pain in the neck. In fact, it can lead to headaches and long-term overuse injuries, like arthritis, pinched nerves, and premature disc degeneration — or developed spinal deformities that can afflict over-texting teens known as ‘text neck‘. When you — and especially your children — †text, try to keep you phone high enough so you donít hunch like Igor every time. Your spine will be grateful.

Your lungs. Leaning forward and rounding the shoulders regularly can lead to breathing impairment and restricted blood flow. Also, when we are focusing intently on something like a screen, we have the tendency to breathe very shallowly. Keep your lungs open and take deep gulps of air, and keep a mindful posture when sending and receiving text messages to keep your blood flowing and your vital organs healthy.

Your fingers. Constantly gripping a phone can lead to a claw-like tension in your hands. Regularly holding tension in your hands and fingers can stiffen the tendons, decrease range of motion, and weaken grip strength. Instead of texting so intensely, be mindful of the way you grip your phone, along with†other parts of your body as well.

If you text a lot, try throwing in some opening yoga poses halfway through the day. When you do text, text more mindfully, taking deep breaths, sitting up straight, and loosening your death grip on your precious smartphone. Encourage your kids to do it too. Youíll both be more self-aware and your body will be far healthier in the long run.

Do you know someone who texts too much? Do you think mindful texting could help their body?

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