We are flooded by media that smoking, alcohol, and drugs are harmful. With greater market saturation of mobile devices and increased use of texting, a group of British health professionals lay claim that chronic texting may reduce your life expectancy. Can it?
May 12 to 16 marks Spinal Awareness Week in the United Kingdom and the United Chiropractic Association revealed a report that texting on smartphones may lower life expectancy. Their studies suggest a link between forward-leaning posture in older people and hyperkyphosis, which is associated with pulmonary disease and cardiovascular problems. How does this affect the average chronic texting enthusiast in the 20 to 50 age bracket? Does it or doesn’t it reduce life expectancy or spinal appearance? Can anything be done to prevent its influence on life reduction?
Texting has grown into a popular lifestyle since the development of smartphones. Once considered a nice feature on the Blackberry cell phones, new touchscreens have made texting a new form of communicating. Of course, anything new is bound with benefits and consequences.
One benefit reduces voice conversations in public places as texting is virtually silent. Consequences have shown that texting while driving may be fatal.
Even those unable to text due to challenging handicaps now have voice-assist apps, like Apple SIRI and Google Now, that aid texting by speaking into mobile devices. Texting is a great alternate form of communication if used responsibly.
Kyphosis is a spine curvature that can be genetically transmitted along family lines, or as results of certain conditions. It can occur at any age and may be due to certain endocrine diseases, certain connective tissue disorders, Muscular dystrophy, Neurofibromatosis, Polio, Spina bifida, Osteoporosis, and some vertebral problems. Caught early enough, kyphosis is treatable with surgery or the use of prosthetic back supports. This curvature of the spine, depending on angularity, may result in a rounding of the back as with a hunchback. It can result in certain complications that may include decreased lung capacity, disabling back pain, neurological symptoms (i.e. leg weakness or paralysis). Severe cases of thoracic kyphosis can also limit the amount of space in the chest and cause cardiac and pulmonary problems by reducing the size and capacity of the skeletal chest.
England’s United Chiropractic Association (UCA) is very popular throughout the United Kingdom. It is considered a less invasive approach to orthopedics. Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. As part of Spinal Awareness Week, it is obvious that the UCA would try to make a media splash by focusing on texting as a possible cause of kyphosis results. Texting is extremely prevalent around the world. Add interests in appearance, posture, and wellness sensitivities among avid texters, it may offer support (and money) to chiropractic practitioners.
According to the UCA media release, “Forward-leaning posture increases the risk of an early death in elderly people and there are fears that younger people might be knocking time off their lives by using this posture when they text, go online, send emails or play games on phones and other mobile devices.” Perhaps this makes sense but more studies illustrate that greater understanding of bones may contribute to help resolve certain spine curvature issues.
Can texting lead to unsightly (or unhealthy) spinal curvature? It is debatable. Can sitting in front of a PC and keying result in progressive nerve and muscular disorders? Anything is possible. For now, irresponsible texting while walking in public areas or while driving pose more imminent dangers. Resting and certain spinal stretch exercises may help keep healthy spines healthier in spite of chronic texting.
Take routine checkups and comprehensive blood tests. There are many other nasty culprits that can cause spinal curvatures and cardiovascular risks. It’s better to be aware than sorry.
On the kyphosis issue with texting, we need many more studies to associate whether texting and use of mobile devices may reduce life expectancies through the development of thoracic curvatures. The UCA has evoked an interesting, curious theory. Will this awareness change your texting frequency? Would you be more willing to visit a chiropractor for back pain?