This week I read an article about how iPads work as a calming sedative for children prior to surgery. I believe it. I’ve been to many restaurants where a noisy child was calmed into a glazed-eye stupor when mommy or daddy whipped out the iPad to keep the child engaged.
The key element is distraction, an age-old method that parents have used on their children since the Ark landed on dry ground, and works well as the divide-and-conquer option among multiple children. My fear is that iPads and iPhones are being used as sedatives and drugs– to put some order into troublesome children, yes– but could also become posture crippling addictive toys.
Chiropractors the world over must be salivating at the generation of hump-backed cave people spawned by iPhones and iPads. Look around. Everywhere, night or day, you’ll see people of all ages– more young than old, but plenty of the latter– hunched over their little screens, squinting to read a text, respond to email, play a game, or do whatever it is we think we need to do on a pixel encrusted viewport of minimal dimensions.
How can using an iPhone or iPad be good for a child’s posture? Or, anyone’s posture? The only saving grace to prevent a few generations of humans from becoming permanently humped (and not in a good way) is the occasional prairie dog posture to take a photo or video. Otherwise, it’s back to the hunched over mode. The typical usage cannot be a physical position that is good for human.
Based upon my view of human evolution, the last generation to have pretty good posture also carried a spear. Yes, I know, you’re probably thinking like my parents, and think that whatever I say is just so much fluff, and no adult is going to ditch an iPhone merely to straighten out a crooked neck, and no child will leave an iPad untouched just because they’re ordered to sit up straight, but people with education beyond my own have seen the same problem.
Harvard Business School Professor Amy Cuddy:
The average head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. When we bend our necks forward 60 degrees, as we do to use our phones, the effective stress on our neck increases to 60 pounds — the weight of about five gallons of paint.
Ouch. That hurts just to think about.
When we’re sad, 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 (the name we use to describe iPhone user hunch)… depressed patients were more likely to stand with their necks bent forward, shoulders collapsed and arms drawn in toward the body. Posture doesn’t just reflect our emotional states; it can also cause them.
Maybe it’s how iPhone and smartphone users stand or sit and hunch over their devices which is causing humankind to be so unkind to one another. There’s a psychological connection that works two ways. Hunching over an iPhone can give us bad posture which makes us feel bad, and when we feel bad we lash out and say nonsensical things and attack others. Yes, Donald Trump uses both an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
Compared with upright sitters, the slouchers reported significantly lower self-esteem and mood
See? Use an iPhone in slouch mode at your own peril.
In fact, there appears to be a linear relationship between the size of your device and the extent to which it affects you: the smaller the device, the more you must contract your body to use it, and the more shrunken and inward your posture, the more submissive you are likely to become.
A new MacBook could improve your health. Is there a solution to iDevice usage that doesn’t cost so much money? Other than doctor bills, medicine, and chiropractic office visits?
Keep your head up and shoulders back when looking at your phone, even if that means holding it at eye level. You can also try stretching and massaging the two muscle groups that are involved in the iHunch — those between the shoulder blades and the ones along the sides of the neck. This helps reduce scarring and restores elasticity.
Is it any wonder American politics has gone to hell in a basket? Too many iPhone users.
Finally, the next time you reach for your phone, remember that it induces slouching, and slouching changes your mood, your memory and even your behavior. Your physical posture sculpts your psychological posture, and could be the key to a happier mood and greater self-confidence.
Amen to that, sister.