A big buzz in the world of holistic health has been the concept of “text neck”. It’s the concept of today’s generation spending so much time looking down at work and in their free time that it is producing a terrible epidemic of necks out of alignment! You’ll see posts about this all over the pages of physicians, physiotherapists, and chiropractors, and it can sound very scary!
What We Know
The problem is that this so called epidemic does not have any research backing it. In fact, most current research actually seems to run to the contrary! There seems to be no greater increase in pain in the groups of chronic “tech users” than in their counterparts.
So what about those “horns” one group found growing on the back of kids skulls a few years back?! Well, it turns out, while there were certainly some radiological reports that found some reinforced bone at the attachment points of the skulls of some people, this correlative data did not actually go through the rigors of good research to make sure that the cause was what who claimed it stated it was! It turns out, chronic postural positioning will create adaptations regardless of age and activity. Also, this finding was not limited to the new “tech” generation at all! Nor was this found in the majority of any subgroup.
So what does this mean? Does posture not matter? Well, not exactly. As we said, chronic positioning can create adaptations in the body, and those adaptations can create different stresses on us over time that could create aggravation in the body. What chronic positioning means is “spending too long in any one place and position.” Essentially, if you don’t move all day, you’re probably going to have problems! They’re not just limited to pain though, being chronically static and sedentary can cause a myriad of health conditions. So our bigger message needs to be slightly different: stay moving as much as you can! Change positions at work frequently throughout the day, stand up and move whenever you can, find excuses to walk, hike, and climb.
The reason children are more healthy seems to be that they are more likely to be up and moving, so we should be getting everyone on their feet more often! I’d worry less about how much people are texting, and more about how many people just aren’t active!