Have you ever been deep into a social media or text message rabbit hole that when you finally put your phone down, your neck hurts, your wrists and thumbs are stiff, and your back is so angry at you? Most of us spend a lot of time on our phones these days. When we are using our smartphones for extended periods of time we tend to forget to keep our posture in check. There are several ways to keep those joints and muscles happy while burning through the emails and text messages on your smartphone.
When you are on your smartphone, start by trying to be mindful of your posture. Many times when we get on our phones, we hold them down towards our waists or laps and slouch to see it, with our neck stationed in a downward position. This puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on our necks and spines. I get how foolish you might feel holding your phone up to your face or chest, but elevating the phone up to allow your spine and neck to stay in a straight position will help alleviate the pain and keep you focused on what’s happening on the screen.
When checking texts or e-mails try to keep your phone at eye or chest level, this ensures your posture stays straight and alleviates the pressure on your neck. This also has another benefit, holding your phone up will make you want to take more breaks to allow your arms to rest. Breaks will give your eyes a rest and help you to stay focused on what’s going on around you. Being aware of where the phone is positioned will be beneficial to keeping your body happy while you stay connected.
Utilizing your voice to text, if that’s an option, is your best bet if you spend a lot of time texting, searching the web or emailing. It may be awkward at first if it’s something you’re not used to using, but a little practice goes a long way. This will also free up your hands to multi-task, helping you to increase your productivity.
If you make a lot of phone calls throughout the day, and you cram the phone between your ear and shoulder while multi-tasking like I do, consider using a headset or earbuds. Even if you’re not one to hold the phone this way, a good headset will make life easier. I find it is much easier to hear the person on the other end using this method, helping me to stay focused on the conversation.
When you’re on a smartphone bender, stay aware of your hand positioning and how you hold or type on your phone. Switching between your fingers and thumbs while typing is a great idea. This keeps you from overworking and straining your thumbs and wrists. Ensure your wrists stay straight and take short breaks to avoid strain.
A quick and effective way to take care of your body while using your phone is to adjust the brightness and font size to the perfect setting for you. This will reduce strain to your eyes. Simple yet effective. If the font is too small or the screen is too bright or dim, your eyes will need to work overtime, which can cause headaches.
Give it a Rest
Last but not least, take a break! Taking short breaks every 15 minutes will benefit your body. Put the phone down for a minute and focus your attention on what’s around you. Enjoy the sunshine or say hello to a stranger. Too much phone time and we can miss out on the beauty around us.
Smartphones are great, but let’s face it, you’ll replace it with a newer and better model within a few years. Unfortunately, we cannot do the same with our bodies, take care of it. It will thank you in the long run!