Talking to Teens About Tech Addiction & Posture
SPOILER ALERT: “Put down your phone!” isn’t the answer.
Aches, pains, and ‘old posture’ aren’t just for seniors anymore. Health complaints you might expect from an 80 year-old are coming from the mouths of the most unexpected demographic: Young adults.
Is your child at risk? The first thing to check is his or her smart phone use, which is the biggest culprit according to posture expert, Dr. Steven Weiniger.
“What we’re seeing now is a dramatic increase in middle and high schoolers seeing chiropractors and other wellness professionals with problems such as neck pain, back pain, headaches, arthritis, numbness, and carpal tunnel, all due to smart phone use,” he says. “These are things we never used to see before.”
And, unfortunately, the problem is only going to get worse. Here’s how you can help your kids steer clear of tech neck!
Ways to Help Your Teen Straighten Up
1. Limit screen-time and use smart phones intelligently. Everyone texts – it’s part of our current society, especially in our youth. “The human body was not designed to be texting 5-6 hours a day – people are designed to move,” says Weiniger. Because completely eliminating technology is not a viable answer, he suggests adapting your posture to your activities. “One of the easiest self-help tricks is keeping your phone at eye level. Posture goes where your eyes go.”
2. Use alternative ways to text/communicate. “Switch to using a computer from time to time – encourage your child to sit on an exercise ball while doing so. Another idea is to set up an external keyboard for your smart phone and placing the screen somewhere at eye-level,” suggests Dr. Weiniger.
3. Snap a picture of your child while they’re using their smart phone. Show them how their sitting habits really make them look. “No kid wants to look like an old, hunched over man,” Dr. Weiniger says. “No one does!”