Safe Tablet Use for Kids
Chiropractic for Kids in School, Smart & Safe Tablet Use
You’re probably doing it right now! Using a mobile device to read. I’m sure by now you are aware that the way people typically look at phone and tablets can be quite detrimental to the back and neck. Did you know that cell phone use can double or triple the weight of your head and can strain your neck? Are you currently tiling your head forward to look down at your device? With schools in our area using ipads for learning in and out of the classroom, have you noticed your kids place the ipad on their lap and looking down?
Cell phones and tablets are changing the way our kids access the materials they need in school. The use of these devices influences our posture and body mechanics in unhealthy ways that contribute to neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain. Furthermore, poor posture while sitting, standing, walking, or in a static position can lead to more than upper body pain and stiffness—poor posture affects other parts of the spine, such as the middle and low back.
How much does a human head weigh?
Typically, an adult human head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds and an elementary aged kid’s head is around 5 pounds. As the head tilts or angles forward, the cervical spine’s (neck) muscles, tendons, and ligaments support the head during movement and when static (such as holding the head in a forward tilted position.) Even the neck’s intervertebral discs are involved and help absorb and distribute the forces exerted on the neck.
How much heavier is the human head when tilted forward?
Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, created a computer model of the cervical spine. In an article published in Surgical Technology International, he reported that this model showed that the strain on your neck rises as the forward angle of your head increases.
- At 15 degrees of forward tilt may equate to a head weighing 27 pounds.
- At 30 degrees forward, the strain on the neck equals a 40 pound head.
- The greater the angle, the greater the strain: 45 degrees forward equals 49 pounds of strain, and 60 degrees forward equals 60 pounds.
Now consider the fact that the average person is holding his or her head forward to look at a phone or read a tablet for 2 to 4 hours a day, according to Dr. Hansraj. Teenagers spend even more time each day looking down at their devices, he added. As you tilt your head, you also move your shoulders forward into a rounded position, which is another aspect of poor posture. All this excess strain creates extra wear and tear on the structures of the neck, upper spine and back, and contributes to/can lead to severe spinal degeneration that may require surgery. Chiropractic adjustments at an early stage can prevent degeneration.
Postural awareness a positive first step
Making good posture a habit can help prevent neck or back pain from developing, along with related posture and biomechanical problems. Good posture means that your head is upright, your ears are in line with your shoulders, and your shoulder blades are down and retracted. At CHAMP Chiropractic we can assess your child’s posture when using their tablet, provide exercises to improve posture, and strengthen stabilizing muscles.
Here are some tips you can implement right now.
- First, don’t use your cell phone or your tablet for extended computer work, according to Stanford University’s Environmental Health and Safety Department.
- Place the tablet on a table top surface and use a case that props the tablet on 45 degree angle.
- When you use a cell phone, instead of bending your head to look down at it, raise your phone level to or just below your face.
To book a free consultation at CHAMP Chiropractic you can call 317.219.4980 or click HERE. At CHAMP consultations are always free but now through August 15, 2017 children under 15 can get up to three free adjustments.
Learn more about chiropractic for other ages