January 25, 2012

Smartphone Posture

Is your phone doing damage?

Gary: What kind of phone do you have?

Bari Weissler: It wasn’t until I started using the iPhone and discovered that I was having tightness in my shoulder and pain radiating from the shoulder all the way down the forearm to my fingers.”

Gary: Bari Weissler has been visiting Orthopedic Surgeon Alton Barron for a variety of joint and muscle issues since she was 14. But it is her latest problem that has him most concerned.

Dr. Barron: You might describe it better as the fall of the smartphones, because it is the fall of our bodies as a result of that.

Gary: That is right. Our bodies are paying for all of the hours we spend bbm-ing, face-timing, and playing words with friends.

Dr. Barron: You’ve got gravity working down on your head this way.

Gary: Dr. Barron is seeing an increase in posture-related issues. The culprit, he says? Smartphones!

Did you ever think your smartphone could be hurting you physically?

Dr. Barron: We are straining our muscles, both in our necks and our upper backs and our shoulders, to accommodate the farthest position.

Gary: The average human head weighs about 10 pounds. According to the physiology of the joints, for every inch forward, the strain on the neck increases 10 times. Hunching three inches forward is like adding an extra 30 pounds!

Dr. Barron: As an orthopedic surgeon who deals with this, it scares me to death. We are losing our physicality and our bodies are paying a heavy toll.

Gary: And he is not only warning his patients, but his daughter Chloe hears it too.

Chloe: My dad has been badgering me throughout my entire adolescence about my posture, which had definitely gotten worse since I had obtained cellphones.

Gary: But before you get too worried, Dr. Barron believes there is a simple cure for these health problems.

Dr. Barron: Get outside. Start moving. It takes a couple of exercises and an awareness of it, and a belief that you’re actually at risk for these problems perpetuating for the rest of your life if you don’t address it now.

Gary: Do you think you will change your phone habits? Will you start exercising?

Gary hamilton, Channel One News.


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