Work from home video conferencing is hotter and trendier than ever. Staying safe is the mantra for reducing human contact and spreading COVID-19. Many workers are able to continue in their jobs and companies have found ways to allow them to remain connected. Even socially, people are having virtual happy hours and seeing old friends through the use of Zoom, Go To Meeting, and other video conference sites. What is going largely unnoticed, are the significant tolls more screen time is playing on the physical dysfunction of our society.
Text Neck is a new term that describes how basically all humans are looking down to view their phones constantly. It’s coupled with now leaning forward even more into laptop and tablet screens on multiple video conference calls daily. This “new normal” posture wreaks havoc on the spinal discs in your cervical vertebrae. The natural effects of aging are accelerated in middle age and younger adults, making them appear shorter and causing Degenerative Disc Disease, commonly called a herniated or bulging disc. Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) can lead to excessive compression forces placed on the facet joints, which can cause pain and predispose to arthritic degeneration (Kumaresan, Yoganandan, Pintar, Maiman, & Goel, 2001). You may not even realize the damage you’re doing because there are no nerve endings in the disc itself. Up to 35% of individuals between 40 and 64 years of age may have a cervical disc herniation without symptoms (Antoni & Croft, 2006).
At what point do you take notice of your lack of mobility and reduction in quality of life? Likely you haven’t noticed because you’re staring down at your phone. The consequences are felt when you perform motions like turning your head to back your car up. Not all cars have backup cameras, and now you’re compromising the safety of everyone in your car and oncoming cars. You probably haven’t thought about that lately, it just hurts to turn your head more for some reason.
More seat and device time also lead to increased risk of COVID-19 death factors such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. While working from home may be great on the outside appearance, unless you regulate screen time even more, you are at risk of physically debilitating issues. Being home also ties you longer to the screen because “working hours” don’t exist to the extent as before. 24/7 connection to email and other technology makes you accessible 24/7. In going to work, there is a start and finish typically five days a week, this is no longer the case.
The need for self-preservation regarding spinal and joint dysfunction is now paramount. Using specialized techniques for stretching and strengthening muscles to prevent soft tissue injuries in this COVID-19 world are now vital. I offer a program to assist executives and professionals overcome these trying times with their joint mobility. You can find specific information on my site. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about the highly specialized program I offer.
Get control of your daily screen time tasks before they reduce you to constant pain and arthritis!