WEB DESK: Smart phones are ruining our postures. And that gives us another reason to put our phones away.
Technology is transforming how we hold ourselves. New Zealand Researcher Steve August calls it the iHunch.
In a study he conducted he states that an average head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. When we bend our necks forward 60 degrees to use our phones, the effective stress on our neck increases to 60 pounds.
When August, a physiotherapist started treating patients more than 30 years ago, he says he saw plenty of ‘dowagers’ humps, where the upper back had frozen into a forward curve, in grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Now he’s seeing the same stoop in teenagers.
When we’re sad or depressed, we slouch. We also slouch when we feel scared or powerless. Studies have shown that people with clinical depression adopt a posture that eerily resembles the iHunch.
Our postures don’t only define our emotions, they also cause them.
Compared with upright sitters, the slouchers reported lower self-esteem and mood, and greater fear. Posture affected even the contents of their interview answers: Linguistic analyses revealed that slouchers were much more negative in what they had to say.
So think again before you reach out to your smartphone.