Texting lowers life expectancy

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?

Texting and distracted driving are textecution

Distracted driving may be more lethal than military wars. From 2001 to 20013, USA casualties in the Afghanistan War total 3371. That’s just about the same number of accidents caused by distracted driving in one year. According to published statistics, distracted drivers are a leading cause of deaths and injuries. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010. One of the leading distractions is texting while driving.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
Using a cell phone or smartphone
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading, including maps
Using a navigation system
Watching a video
Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Sometimes your smartphone can be an answer to help minimize distracted driving and the accidents that are so dangerous. Here are some apps that you may find useful.

Among available apps to help r4educe cellular phone use or texting while driving is a clever Android app aptly named Textecution that disables texting when you are driving faster than 10 miles per hour. While it is designed for installation on a children’s phone, this app may reduce distracted driving incidents with adult drivers.

Still need to text while distracted driving? Here is an app that helps reduce distraction. DriveSafely is another app that speaks your texts and lets you speak your texts in response. It may be about as safe as a car speakerphone.

A popular magazine, Family Circle, lists suitable apps for teen drivers in your family.

While many apps are aimed at teenage distracted driving, they apply to adults as well. Texting while driving should be seen as a form of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and the laws should be stricter than they are.

When texting or using a smartphone in your hand or ear, you are seriously compromising attention to the road ahead. Distracted driving is a form of suicide or homicide. Don’t be a casualty. Don’t be a killer. Distracted driving is easier than using a knife or gun. Only seconds make the difference between having fun and being guilty of injuring or killing someone. With an app on your smartphone, it can enforce responsibility over an addictive obsession. Help make distracted driving a thing of the past.