How can smartphone use affect your health?
In the past few years, technology, such as smartphones, has progressively increased worldwide. Everyday tasks are now completed by downloading an app and hitting a few buttons; however, smartphone users fail to recognize that using smartphones can have negative consequences on our health. Recent research has shown that smartphone posture can cause injury and pain in the shoulders, neck, and thumbs with the severity of symptoms increasing with increased smartphone usage. Extended smartphone usage can cause forward neck posture, slouched posture, or rounded shoulders. Sustaining faulty posture in the neck and shoulders can cause injury to the cervical spine and disrupts the proper biomechanics in the shoulder joint, respectively.
Jung and colleagues completed a study on how smartphone use negatively affects posture and respiratory function. In their study, 50 healthy volunteers were divided into two groups per the duration of reported smartphone use by the individual. Group 1 used smartphones for less than 4 hours per day, and group 2 used smartphones for more than 4 hours per day. Each subject’s forward head posture, rounded shoulder posture, and lung function were examined.
Group 2, who used smartphones for longer durations, had poorer forward head posture, rounded shoulders, and partly impaired respiratory function compared to Group 1.
Although smartphones have made our lives a little bit easier, prolonged smartphone use (greater than 4 hours) can negatively affect both posture and respiratory function. So, take up a new hobby, explore the outdoors, or get on one of SOFlete’s programs!
Jung SI, Lee NK, Kang KW, Kim K, Lee DY. The effect of smartphone usage time on posture and respiratory function. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2016;28(1):186-189. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.186.