There is a constant draw towards spending our time on phones, computers and tablets that will lead to bad posture. We discussed in previous blogs how to improve our posture and spending more time moving. Today I want to focus on wrist, shoulder, neck and eye strain. All of these aches and pains can be worked out with corrective exercises, myofascial release or self-massage and limiting our time on these devices.
Simple exercises can correct slight weaknesses. However if you are experiencing significant pain in these areas, please see a doctor and have it examined. Make a fist, thumb included. Hold the squeeze and try to move the wrist forward and backward, side to side and in circles (each direction). Find where you are experiencing the most tenderness or weakness and focus your time there. Holding the fist and the stretch for three to five breaths and then repeating in that same position five times. Taking a yoga tune up ball, the one you used on your feet yesterday and roll out your hands. Place the other hand on top to help guide pressure. Move the ball from side to side and make sure to take deep breaths (in through your nose and out through your mouth). Move up towards the forearm, this is where a lot of tightness can develop. Starting up towards the elbow, press your other hand down and slowly roll the ball down towards the wrist.
Eye strain can be more complex, purchasing glasses that filter out blue light and glare can significantly decrease dry eyes, headaches and blurred vision. Working our way down to the neck, simply stretching your neck during the day is not going to fix the problem. Pressing your head back into the headrest of your car seat, holding the position for five to ten seconds before releasing. Repeat that eight to ten times throughout the drive, sit up tall in your seat and try to be aware of when you are jetting your chin forward or letting it drop past 90° will significantly improve neck pain. Adding in exercises that strengthen your back muscles, such as superman, planks and bird dog. Repeat these exercises two to three times throughout the workout and repeat them three times per week.
While we cannot stop using these devices altogether, it is important to recognize how much time we could cut out. Finding ways to change your lifestyle so that it includes more time doing many different activities. And when you are sitting, standing, texting or talking on the phone, have good posture and awareness of how you are doing those activities.