[W]hen I was kid, I constantly heard… “Don’t sit too close to the television. Don’t swallow watermelon seeds. Don’t look directly into the sun or you’ll go blind. Chew slow, watch where you’re going, sit up straight, don’t slouch or it might stay that way.” Most of those rhetorical parental saying, turned out not to matter. However with the advancement of technology and its prolific daily uses, it has turned into a pain in the neck.
Is It Healthy to Be on Technology Too Much?
As a computer science major, I was one of the few in my dorm that actually “owned” a computer. A few of my friends owned an electric typewriter, but the laptop and smart phone age was still being developed by our friends, Micheal, Bill and Steve.
Fast forward to today, and you will not find a kid anywhere who isn’t slouched over a smartphone, iPad, laptop, Gameboy, or some form of electronic device. We can debate whether all that screen time is really good for kids, but let’s discuss that posture.
Kid Technology is a Pain in the Neck
Smart-phone induced posture started becoming “a pain in the neck” as early as 2008. A CNN article started referring to this epidemic problem as Tech Neck and its now affecting our teenagers more than ever. On Friday, the Los Angeles Times wrote Teens’ Compulsive Texting Can Cause Neck Injury, Experts Warn and without awareness, the problem will continue to get worse.
So parents, what do we do about this? Ban our children from technology? Buy them an ergonomic chair just so they can text? The solutions aren’t quite so dramatic, but do warrant a quick discussion and perhaps some modeling from us parents.
How to Keep Technology from Being a Pain in the Neck
1. Take a break. Change postures, stand up, look away, call a time-out, and roll your shoulders at least every 20 minutes. If you work in front of technology all day, consider setting an ongoing alarm on your phone.
2. Sit in a good chair at a real desk. This seems obvious but go to a chair instead of slouching on the couch during texting.
3. Set parameters for how long you or your kids are on technology. Don’t allow unlimited access. For suggestions read my Family iPhone Contract with My Teen.
4. Exercise. Add neck rolls and upper body stretches to your daily exercises.
So after reading this post, perhaps you should take a break and walk around. After all, my Momma use to say… “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
How is your posture? How much time do you spend pouring over your computer?
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