Smartphones—they are great, aren’t they? With just a glance at your phone, you can get the weather, see who’s trying to contact you, find the time, and remind yourself of your upcoming doctor’s appointment.Of course, one glance generally turns into a stare. This stare can make you ignore the people you’re with.
Get caught up in the drama of social media instead of the conversation going on around you, and entertain yourself with pointless Internet memes instead of enjoying the world that surrounds you.If this is you, you may be suffering from smartphone syndrome, which has physical and social side effects. Learn how to stop or avoid smartphone syndrome now.
WHAT IS SMARTPHONE SYNDROME?
Smartphone syndrome refers to the physical symptoms that come from spending hours looking at screens. Humans were not made to hunch over and look at a phone or lean forward to see a computer screen better. However, because of the modern human lifestyle, this is how far too many people spend the majority of their time.
Smartphone syndrome shows up in a number of ways. The earliest symptoms often include neck pain and shoulder pain, as these muscles suffer the most with constant phone use. You may also experience pain in your forearms, wrists, and hands if you text a lot.
Your posture is a good way to assess your risk for this problem. If you tend to walk in a hunched position with your shoulders rolled forward, you may be a victim of smartphone syndrome. Check your side view in the mirror or ask a close loved one to look at your natural posture.
You can’t avoid using your phone entirely, and you wouldn’t want to anyways! However, you can use it more safely. Instead of craning your neck down to look at your phone, bring your phone up to eye level. Do not worry about looking silly. Your health is more important than what strangers think of how you use your phone.
A short set of daily exercises can help you reverse the effects of cell phone use and strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles. Start with chin tucks. This exercise involves pressing your shoulder muscles back, looking straight ahead, and pressing your head back. Hold for several seconds.
For the second exercise, stand against the wall and put your feet out slightly. Your knees should be slightly bent. Put your arms against the wall with your elbows bent down, making a large W shape. Consciously push your shoulder blades together. This can undo the hunching that naturally happens with too much cell phone use.
If you can, use a hands-free device. This is most effective if you mostly use your cell phone for talking. A small headpiece can allow you to keep in touch without making you hold your phone between your ear and shoulder.
Get a massage. Massage therapists know the effects of cell phone use, and if you tell them that you are trying to reverse the effects of your cell phone usage, they can pay special attention to your hands, neck, and upper back.