Texting vs. Correctives

Written by Dr. Lee Burton FMS

Recently we discussed the link between corrective exercise and the lifestyles of our clients and patients. Now let's take that one step further and ask about something that is often overlooked. What about smartphones?  Their risk extends beyond a driving distraction as they are a massive contributor to poor posture. Seem like a small thing? It’s not.

*Dr. Ken Jansraj, M.D. via The Washington Post

A recent study published by the National Library of Medicine found that smartphone users spend as much as two to four hours per day hunched over their phones reading texts and emails. That’s 700 - 1,400 hours per year that we are adding dangerous pressure and stress on our spines.

Physical therapist and Mobility WOD founder Kelly Starrett actually posted an entire video on proper texting form.

It’s not only a really popular post, but an important post. What’s the point of asking an athlete to commit an hour a day to more efficient movement if you're not going to address the four hours per day they are reinforcing an unhealthy movement?

Kelly’s wife, Juliet, is committed to improving ergonomics and posture too. She is spearheading an effort called Kids Stand Up which aspires to “get every child at a standing desk to combat the epidemic of sedentary lifestyles and to better reflect the goals of the 21st century classroom."

This article isn’t meant to be anti-technology. As coaches and medical professionals we have to realize that lifestyles and environments are made up of the little things that add up over time, including how and how often we use our phones. When considering how to change the environment to help a client reach their goals - don't forget the smartphone.

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    Jim 3/6/2015 6:49:10 PM

    You're nuts...love it.

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    Ramon Sodano 3/6/2015 6:49:10 PM

    This is awesome.  I was literally just discussing with my trainers the other day about the damage that constant texting, tweeting, twitting, or whatever you call it can do. On a side note, I feel that one of the biggest down falls of our society is that we constantly look for the easiest way out, or what we deem as "efficiency."  This is not to be confused with proper efficient movement patterns or anything of that nature, but rather that we feel as if we need to have everything readily available for us at our finger tips.  Like stamps.com.  God forbid you have to stand up and drive to the post office to get your stamps, but now you can have them delivered right to you to make us more "efficient."  This is a random example, but one can imagine that by developing consistent patterns that promote a sedentary lifestyle will be extremely harmful to out survival.  Maybe one day we will just evolve into a consciousness and not even need our body anymore.  That seems to be what the dominant amount of our population wants haha.

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    Dawn 3/6/2015 6:49:10 PM

    Very important point. Thanks!

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    michael 3/9/2015 4:17:03 PM

    great as always- could you feature that phone slap down in slo-mo, so we could see the intracaies of the move?

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    John 3/18/2015 2:26:22 PM

    My first "visit". Great advice, thanks so much!

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    Alexandre Vilaça 3/23/2015 3:09:43 PM


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    Adolf H. 3/27/2015 6:31:43 PM

    This really helps me stand up straight when I'm presenting my speeches. This makes me look like I have lots of confidence! Danke! (That's thank you in German)

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    Sue 2/1/2016 1:38:28 PM

    Excellent video!  With 5 kids (one with a smart phone) you better believe they will be watching this.