A chiropractor in Steinbach says the increasing use of cell phones, tablets and other screens has led to a condition called tech neck, or technology neck. Dr. Lori Ann Petrilli says many people are developing very poor posture as they slouch forward to look at their devices.
"It's ruining our posture. The head weighs about 15 pounds. For every inch that you hold it forward from your centre of gravity, it weighs ten more pounds. A lot of these kids that we see, I walk into the room and they're sitting there and their head is tilted down five or six inches, so they're walking around with a 55 pound head. So we're using up all our energy and wondering why we're tired and why our upper back is so sore. Well it's from carrying around a 55 pound head."
Dr. Petrilli says to counter the effects of tech neck, she recommends the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look at a point 20 feet in front of you so you are forced to raise your chin. She notes back and neck problems related to cell phone use have led to a big surge in business for chiropractors.
She also has some advice for people who are sitting for an extended period.
"The best idea is to sit in something that you are supported in and, if you're on the couch, not to put your feet up. Sit on your sit bones and sit up straight. And if you're maintaining your lower back curve, the rest of you can't actually slouch."