How many times today have you looked down on your phone like this? 50? 100? 200? 500 times? Then if we start multiplying that number with weeks and months you quickly see that we spend quite a lot of time in this bad position.
I am just as bad as most people, but wanted to put focus on something that is becoming an increasing problem in the whole population. For many years therapists talked about the so called "office shoulder" posture with rounded shoulders and upper back. This is still a huge problem in the desk based population, although I am convinced that the "mobile phone neck" will cause at least as much problems for people over the next years. The trouble is that kids down to 3-4 years old (or younger!!) are using mobile phones or ipads down on their laps and therefore adapt this awful posture from an early age.
Our spine is an extremely amazing part of out body, it holds our body together and basically gives us the ability to move. The head is naturally supposed to sit fairly central on top of the head in an ideal world, although this if clearly not the case in the above photo. An average head weighs around 4.5 - 5 kg, his might not sound like a lot, and our body is designed to handle this weight - providing the head sit on top of the spine lie it should do. The problem arises when you sit for prolonged time like the photo above - my head is way too far forward and therefore this posture puts a lot more added strain onto the shoulders and neck muscles.
In the next example you can see that at least I'm looking more straight ahead, although still looking down a bit too much.
In the last example we are getting into a much better neck position as you can hopefully see. Although holding your arm up like this for long periods of time will ultimately cause strain on the shoulders, it puts your neck in a more neutral and better position. The message is pretty clear: Think about your posture every single day, cut down on the amount you look on your phone (note to myself as well!) and basically try to move a little bit more everyday!
Happy neck and shoulders= less tension headaches, less muscular pain and better overall wellbeing!