How gluing to computer screens can lead to health problems
Seemingly harmless position compresses the neck, causing various ailments
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Jan. 6: Technology has made life so convenient for humans but the sheer amount of time that both the young and the old spend in front of the computer and cell phone screens on a daily basis is worrying. It has not only disrupted interpersonal relationship but also become a potential threat to one’s health in the long run.
Many stay glued to their computer screens, jutting their heads forward to look more closely for a clearer view without caring for their posture. But researchers said that ‘this seemingly harmless position compresses the neck and can lead to various health problems like fatigue, headaches, poor concentration, increased muscle tension, cause injury to the vertebrae and even limit the ability to turn one’s head.’
“When your posture is tall and erect, the muscles of your back can easily support the weight of your head and neck — as much as 12 pounds,” explained Erik Peper, professor of Holistic Health at San Francisco State University in an article that has been published on the university’s website.
“But when your head juts forward at a 45 degree angle, your neck acts like a fulcrum, like a long lever lifting a heavy object. Now the muscle weight of your head and neck is the equivalent of about 45 pounds. It is not surprising people get stiff necks and shoulder and back pain,” he added.
In a study carried out by a team of researchers — Peper, associate professor of Health Education Richard Harvey and their colleagues – that was published in the journal Biofeedback, a total of 87 students were asked to sit upright with their heads properly aligned on their necks and then to turn their heads. They were then asked to “scrunch” their necks and jut their heads forward. 92 percent of the participants were able to turn their heads much farther when not scrunching.
In another test, ‘125 students scrunched their necks for 30 seconds. Afterwards, 98 percent reported some level of pain in their head, neck or eyes. The researchers also monitored 12 students with electromyography equipment and found that trapezius muscle tension increased in the scrunched, head forward position.’
The study was done to test the effects of head and neck position, and it has been found out that bad posture while sitting in front of a computer screen can be a “pain in the neck.”
The researchers suggested those suffering from headaches or neck and back aches from computer work to correct their posture by making sure that their head is aligned on top of their neck, “as if held by an invisible thread from the ceiling.”
Peper said that increasing the font on computer screen, wearing computer reading glasses or placing the system on a stand at eye level can help people maintain a good posture.