It's time to start looking up
Published on: 31/01/20
It's time to start looking up!
In a world that is so reliant on technology, we should start looking at the negative impact it can have on your health and lifestyle.
Mobile phones are pretty nifty gadgets, we can connect with the world by making calls, sending texts/emails & scrolling through social media, we can surf the internet, take photos, play games…the list seems endless which is why we’ve become so dependent on them for everyday life.
I heard on the radio this week that statistics show 1 in 4 under 6 year olds own a mobile phone. Therefore it is important to understand the effects of using a mobile phone to safeguard the next generation.
We tend to hold our phone at a lower level meaning the head bows down to look at the screen, the weight of the head creates a greater pressure on the cervical spine (neck) and thus having an impact on your posture. If your alignment is shift it can cause discomfort in your muscles and joints. Over long periods of looking down to your phone the muscles at the front of the neck squeezes causing the skin cells to age faster, deepening neck lines.
As the size of a smartphone increases our grip is compromised resulting in peritendinitis (inflammation of the tissues around a tendon) and tenosynovitis (inflammation of the synovium fluids that surround the tendons). This is due to the thumb extending frequently whilst texting for instance and the palm of the hand over exceeds its functional position for long periods of time. If you are starting to experience wrist strain, thumb pain, weakness/cramps in your dominant arm and hand it is likely you are experiencing the side effects of peritendinitis and will need to rest your hand, icing may help any inflammation and exercise to improve the function of the wrist and hand.
Prolonged screen use can lead to dry eyes, sore eyes, congestive, and even serious conjunctival lesions and other eye diseases.
There is ongoing research as to the negative effects mobile phones have on our health such as radiation, allergies and the impact on our immune system but we should also look at how it effects our mental health too such as overuse before bedtime will result in poor sleep patterns, a lack of sleep will ultimately effect our moods. Mobile phones can become addictive and social media has a huge part to play, our obsession of scrolling through pictures and newsfeeds can often leave you feeling low. Minimise your time on these platforms and remember what you see on your screens isn’t reality, so put your phone down and enjoy yourself hands-free.
Can Pilates Help?
One of the benefits of Pilates is realigning the spinal column into its optimum position by strengthening and lengthening your muscles, this can prevent aches and pains in the body. If you’ve noticed your head is starting to tilt forwards and you’re experiencing neck and back discomfort, Pilates can help to correct your position promoting a healthy spine.
Specific stretches can be prescribed to reduce the side effects of peritendinitis, ask your instructor what exercises and stretch will help to reduce the inflammation and discomfort in your hand and wrist.
Pilates gives you a little ‘me’ time, an hour to focus on you and your bodies needs giving you a break from ‘screen’ time.