Dr. Marc Persson Explores the Link Between Desk Jobs, Mobile Devices and Pain
How often do you use a mobile device — a phone, tablet or e-reader — each day? Our addiction to smartphones has been linked to eye stress and sleep problems, but did you know it can cause neck, back and muscle pain as well?
Studies show that adults spend 2–4 hours a day or more with their heads tilted over their cell phones, leading to poor posture that affects the neck, spine, muscles and joints. According to experienced chiropractor in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Marc Persson, the time spent on devices is causing a measurable impact to our nation’s spinal health.
How can we solve it?
The easiest answer is to put down our cell phones. Reducing the time we spend bent over our devices, while increasing the amount on other activities, including exercise; can have an immediate positive impact on neck and spinal health and reduce pain.
If you can’t put down the phone, consider these improvements to reduce the stress on your body:
- Raise your mobile device to eye level, decreasing the angle of bend on your neck to read it.
- Increase the use of hands-free functionality. Stand up and walk around while speaking or texting to reduce repetitive motion and neck strain.
- Draft shorter text messages via your mobile phone and use a computer or in-person conversation for more in depth topics.
- Limit time of use. Create a daily cut-off when you put down your device. The less time you use a mobile device daily, the less eye and neck strain it is causing.
Another major cause of chronic neck and back pain according to Marc Persson is the way we sit at a desk and use desktop computers each day. A slight redesign to your workspace can have a major impact on reducing the causes of chronic back pain.
- Research better office chairs that provide support to your back and spine throughout the day. Raise or lower your chair so your posture is reclined at 100 to 110 degrees, not a straight 90- degree angle. Ensure your feet touch the ground and sit forward, with a few inches between your knees and the front of the chair. Lower your armrests or remove them to allow your shoulders to relax.
- Reposition your computer monitor, raising or lowering either your chair or monitor so that your eyes are level with the top of your screen and your neck is not bent up or down. Move the monitor closer or farther away, increase the font size, or purchase a larger monitor to reduce eye strain.
- Move your keyboard and mouse so that you don’t have to strain to reach them. Each should be a comfortable distance away, ensuring your forearms are parallel with the floor and your wrists are not pointed up or down. Change your mouse from side to side throughout the day to reduce the repetitive motion and strain on one hand, wrist, arm and shoulder. Add a document reader or a second monitor to reduce repetitive motion.
- Get up and move around throughout the day. Dr. Marc Persson recommends standing up throughout the day to stretch your body.
Additionally, walk around during conference calls using hands-free functions. Schedule walking meetings with colleagues to get up and moving. Add a device to help you track your daily movement and schedule reminders to get up and move around every hour.
Marc Persson on Knowing where to Start
Dr. Marc Persson claims that back care is a vital component to our overall health and well-being. It is imperative that individuals perform the necessary research to mitigate the risk of developing back issues down the road.