Lately, I've been on my phone more than I'd like to admit. It got me thinking about how the repetitive actions of swiping and typing are impacting my hands and body. Ouch! It's time to readjust! It’s no secret that engaging in the same action over and over again makes it more likely that you will develop a repetitive strain injury. The good news is that this outcome is not inevitable. Learning more about your most important tool, your body, can be incredibly empowering. So here are a few tips to help you develop healthy habits when using your phone.
Is your texting/scrolling posture more like the image on the left or the one on the right?
There is so much happening in image one. My neck is just hanging there! Ouch! If I were to stay there for an extended period of time, I’d risk destabilizing my neck. My shoulders are rounding, which is forcing the back of my upper body to be in an overstretched/lengthened position. Do you notice that I am also leaning to one side? What about my hands? I’m relying on my thumbs! If this is a go-to posture for me, experiencing those strains shouldn’t be surprising.
Noticing your posture is the first step to creating better habits. Take a moment to check in with your body. Stand up tall. Pull your shoulders back. Lift your phone out in front of you. It is a common tendency to hold our phones down by our waists. This adds a lot of strain to the neck since the head has to drop forward to read what is on the screen. Hold your phone higher and straighten your neck.
Do you depend on your thumbs when you type and swipe? It's time to give your thumbs a break and create variety in your repetitive movements. Remember to switch between using your thumbs, fingers, and voice to text.
Did you know apps like Instagram will actually give you a report of how much time you are spending on the app? Have you ever tracked your phone activity? Try it out. If you have an iphone, go into your settings, click on battery, then tap the icon that says “Last 24hours” or “Last 7 days” to get your daily and weekly reports. This section will provide you with a report of which apps you use the most. You can then click on each app individually to see exactly how much time you are spending on it for the week. Have you ever said you don’t have enough time to stretch or meditate? Well this exercise can really shift your perspective to realize that you have been spending 10 hours a week on Instagram. This week try to scroll less and move more!
Remember that even the smallest adjustments can help you create more sustainable patterns in the long run. I am so excited to share that the Hands Wrists and Forearms Kit is back in stock! Check it out to develop a healthy hands routine that works for you!