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Cell Phone Ergonomics

When I took the Mobility and Movement certification a few years ago, I remember Kelly Starett being a total stickler for how we held our cell phones. He would come around and phyically adjust you if he found you to be in a less than optimal ergonomic position. DJ so kindly pointed out my own poor cell phone ergonomics the other day at the gym, so I only saw it fitting to make him be my demo for this post. Check out these 3 positions below. The first and second picture are what we would call poor cell phone ergonomics.

Exaggerated Lumbar Curve (this is painful to look at…Yikes!)


Typical Cell Phone Stance (note the angle of the thoracic and cervical spine…no good)


Proper Alignment (just look how happy he looks!)

This article from breaking muscle goes into greater detail on how improper cell phone positioning can hinder our anatomical position.

What the Research Says

In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the human head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surge. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds. But look what happens when we tilt our head forward:

 

Cell Phone Ergonomics: How to Avoid the "Smart Phone Slump" - Fitness, Recovery, alignment, mobility, posture, phone, posture alignment therapy

Cell Phone Ergonomics: How to Avoid the "Smart Phone Slump" - Fitness, Recovery, alignment, mobility, posture, phone, posture alignment therapy

This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.

 

Repetitive increases in stress of this nature may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, and possibly the need for surgery.

Check out the full article here!

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