How to beat the text-neck
As BIMers, we are more IT-Savvy than most of the population. But do you ever think about the consequences of sitting hours in front of your computer every day? We spend most of our time with writing assignments, reading blogs, watching YouTube videos and gaming, while sitting in an unnatural position. Just take a moment right now and observe your posture while you are reading this article. Even if we are out of the house, we stare at our smartphone screen while waiting for the tram etc. Have you ever heard of the “text neck”? “Text neck is the term used to describe the injuries and pain sustained from looking down at wireless devices for too long.” (Walsh 2014) Bad posture can cause back and neck pain, metabolic issues, depression, heart disease, neurological issues and decreased lung capacity. All these consequences can affect our comfort, health, safety and quality of life as we get older.
But before you start to worry too much, remember, IT will always find a way to solve any kind of a problem. Besides doing yoga, exercising and changing your lifestyle, there are some cool wearables that promise you to improve your health. The two most popular are Lumo Lift (99 dollars) and Prana (150 dollars). Let’s have a closer look of what they do.
Lumo Lift is a smart peanut sized magnet that you clip on your shirt and it tracks your posture and gives you signals whenever you slouch your back. The data is synced to your IPhone app where after creating an account, you can see how “well” you maintained a good posture throughout the day. You can set how strict your Lumoshould be and it also has a coach functionality to train you how to sit right.
Prana is a very similar device. You clip a small disc on your waist and it measures your body’s breathing patterns. Whenever it detects irregularities or stressed breathing, you probably have a bad posture and a push notification will alarm you. Just like Lumo, Prana also has an active mode, which provides you training sessions. The app has a library with all kinds of breathing exercises organized by their effect (wake-up, de-stress, energy boost).
If you are interested in the topic, you should also take a look at the following devices:
- UpRight http://www.uprightpose.com/
- Zikto Arki http://zikto.com/
- Jins Meme https://www.jins-jp.com/jinsmeme/
Of course, if you are not ready to spend this amount of money on wearables, there are some stretching videos on YouTube that help you in case you experience the symptoms of the text neck. Additionally, Yoga and an active lifestyle is probably the best way to go to maintain your health in the long run.