Brittany Byma

Brittany Byma, LMT/CPT/Wellness Coach

Let this be a public service announcement: STOP looking down at your phone! Hold your phone UP to eye level!

Prolonged device usage can cause faulty posture such as forward neck posture, slouched posture, or rounded shoulders. The frequency of device use, the degree of neck flexion while using the phone, and the body position are some of the main factors associated with neck and shoulder pain and its severity.

How to fix: Keep your elbows to your sides, holding the phone up higher to your face, so you can read it while keeping your head straight. The human head weighs about 10 pounds. The more you tilt your head forward and down, gravitational forces dramatically increase the weight felt by your neck.

By practicing proper posture, you help reduce the risk of back and neck pain. Slouching or hunching at a desk can affect the way your spine grows. Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people miss work.

Sitting and standing with proper alignment improves blood flow, helps keep your nerves and blood vessels healthy, and supports your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. People who make a habit of using correct posture are less likely to experience related back and neck pain.

Some of the benefits of good posture include:

  • Reduced back and neck pain.
  • Fewer headaches.
  • Increased energy levels.
  • Less tension in your shoulders and neck.
  • Decreased risk of abnormal wearing of the joint surfaces.
  • Increased lung capacity.
  • Improved circulation and digestion.
  • Better breathing. Research shows that poor posture negatively affects your ability to breathe deeply and fill your lungs.
  • Improves self-confidence.
  • Improved mood.
  • Optimal digestion.
  • Greater function as you age and grow – especially for kids and adolescents as they are most prone to growing abnormally from bad posture.

As we get older, bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately lead to poor posture. The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and a potbelly.

So basically, this is a reminder to practice good posture and remind your kids to as well! A habit-forming tip: have a tip jar and anytime your family or coworkers catch you with bad posture you put a quarter or dollar in, and also applies to them too! Person with the best posture throughout the month wins the jar!

Brittany Byma is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Wellness Coach. Brittany can be reached at 509-830-7326.

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