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8 Ways to Avoid Your Smart Phone Deforming Your Spine

8 Ways to Avoid Your Smart Phone Deforming Your Spine

We have entered an age where technology is a large part of people’s everyday lives, especially the smartphone  Whether it’s using your phone to do a little research on the go, or sending e-mails to clients, to talk and text friends, check your social media, or to fling little birds at pigs, almost everybody who has the ability to read this article probably owns a smart phone. One thing that people do not realize is the damage they could be doing to their spine, while using their smartphones.

A study done by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, published in the Surgical Technology International journal, showed that looking down at your cell phone could be the equivalent to putting a 60 pound weight on your neck. Imagine the long lasting effects you are leaving on your spine by doing this. If you want to help drastically reduce the stress you are causing on yourself, take a look at these 8 tips.

1. Hold your phone straight out in front of you

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spine

    By doing this, you are avoiding having to bend your neck down to look at your phone, thus reducing the stress on your neck and spine. The idea is to try and keep your device at eye level. The diagram above shows how much “weight” can be relieved just by simply raising your head to use your phone.

    2. Adjust your posture frequently

    When you are using your smart phone for a long period of time, you can help relieve stress on your spine by checking and adjusting your posture frequently. If you adjust your posture frequently and maintain a neutral posture overall, you are more likely to keep unnecessary stress off of your neck and spine.

    3. Take frequent breaks

    This is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you want to eliminate back and neck pain, put down your phone and take a walk, or stretch. This way, you are taking time away from slouching over your cell phone and making yourself feel better by getting a little exercise and fresh air.

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    4. Keep yourself healthy and promote bone strength

    You can actually help prevent a lot of wear and tear on your spine that is caused by prolonged cell phone usage by keeping yourself healthy and supporting bone growth. Some ways you can do this is taking in plenty of calcium and vitamin D, which will keep your bones from thinning over time. You can also do bone strengthening exercises, such as yoga, light weight lifting and walking.

    5. Keep hydrated

    Staying hydrated throughout the day can help relieve stress in your body, from the neck down, so be sure to drink plenty of water if you have to use that phone for a long period of time.

    6. Refrain from texting for a day

    Another incredibly beneficial thing you can do is to try and avoid using your phone for texting or e-mail. You can simply call people if you need to talk, or even meet up for lunch with a friend. This way, you are not spending your time hunched over texting, but rather socializing with somebody face to face.

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    7. Add magnesium to your diet

    Magnesium helps contract and relax your muscles. It may reduce tension in your neck and back caused by using your phone for an excessive period of time. You can get magnesium from certain vegetables, nuts and whole grains, soaking in an Epsom salt bath, or by simply taking it as a supplement.

    8. Seek chiropractic care frequently

    If you are in a position where you need to use your smartphone daily, it would be wise to visit a chiropractor regularly. Who better to help you relieve back and neck pain than a professional?

    Your spine has 33 of the 206 bones in your body and can make everyday tasks impossible if not properly cared for. Do yourself a favor and use these 8 tips so you can live a pain free life.

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    [Source: Assessment of Stresses in the
    Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and
    Position of the Head, 9 “Back to Basic” Tips]

    Featured photo credit: http://pixabay.com/en/users/JESHOOTS-264599/ via pixabay.com

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    Michael Daws

    Aircraft Painter, Sports & Lifestyle Blogger

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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