Pokemon Go! has been getting people out and about at all hours of the day and night. Parks, parking lots and other public places have been traversed by those in search of the elusive critters. With faces aglow from the bright hand held screens, techno hunters could be putting themselves at risk from more insidious harm than just an unlucky encounter with a cyclist, motorist, jogger or a prammed up pedestrian.
Also known as text neck, “Poké-Neck” (another neologism of Aidan’s) is the syndrome created by prolonged forward head and rounded shoulder posture, commonly seen in those who are utilising digital hand held devices. One of the major issues is that, due to the captivating nature of the game, this posture is often held for prolonged periods of time.
Forward head posture affects us more today than ever before. When the head shifts forward from your body’s centre of gravity, the shoulders follow whilst the mid back moves backward increasing the “hunch” between the shoulder blades. In compensation, this causes a domino effect with your posture; your hips will move forward and, presto, you have a sway back posture which puts undue stress on your spine, its supporting muscles and the rest of your musculoskeletal system.
For every 2.5cm your head is carried forward, it can double its weight on your spine. The average human head weighs 4.5kgs*. Doubling, or tripling this weight becomes very significant when it’s accumulated over hours, days, weeks etc.
(*adapted from -Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3)
What To Do
1. Be sure to look up and watch where you are going!
2. Hold your device up to the level of your upper chest/ neck (when your arms get tired give them a break and a stretch).
3. Try these exercises a few times per day
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