How to beat the text-neck


The problem

As BIMers, we 1are 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.

 

The eas2y solution- Wearables

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 http://www.lumobodytech.com/

Lumo Lift3 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 http://prana.co/4

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:

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.

http://www.spine-health.com/blog/modern-spine-ailment-text-neck

http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/the-best-wearables-for-improving-your-posture

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2 responses to “How to beat the text-neck”

  1. mhamulder says :

    Great post about a behaviour I did not expect to have any effect on our health. Although I understand that devices have been developed to tackle these healthy positions, being conscious of the natural forces to the neck while texting will decrease these symptoms and unhealthy behaviour.
    Next time I look at my phone to check out the latest updates I will make sure I do not maintain such an extreme unnatural position and for too long.

  2. 439921dt says :

    Thank you for the entertaining and refreshing article. I think everybody of us know about the text neck problem. However, I doubt that the proposed solutions will be adopted by many users. People wont change their posture when they are working with their smartphone, because looking down to the phone is the most convenient posture. You could raise the arm while holding your smartphone. Than you would look straight forward at the phone screen and thereby avoid a text neck. But that would be a very tiring position, unless you have great arm muscles.
    I think in future the text neck problem will be solved. We wont have to look down to smartphones anymore, because we will use smart glasses that will be connected with our smartphone.

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