As you slowly wake up on the train, your first instinct is to scroll through Instagram. Later, you find yourself traipsing through the city, checking your Facebook channel for updates. To finish the day, you flick through snapchat in bed.
Enter the dawn of the ‘iHunch’ – a malady of the 21st century.
The term “iHunch,” coined by New Zealand Physiotherapist, Steve August, refers to the posture people adopt when using their smartphones. This is concerning, given the growing prevalence of smartphone and tablet use (more than 85 per cent of Aussies owned a smartphone in 2014). Experts are therefore, growing increasingly concerned about the health ramifications and incidence of the “iHunch.”
American Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, cited in the New York Times on December 12, 2015, that an “iHunch” is detrimental to one’s health, for when people lean forward more than 60 degrees to use their smartphones, they add 4 to 6 kilos of strain on their neck, originating from the weight of their tilted heads.
In September, 2015 Health Psychology published research citing increased stress as yet another, negative health issue attributable to an “iHunch.” Earlier research canvassed in The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 2006 suggested the more time spent sitting or standing in front of a computer without changing position, the increased likelihood of developing back problems.
Detrimental to one’s health and wellbeing, the “iHunch” is overwhelmingly attributed to poor posture, which can contribute to further complications, such as skeletal pain, muscle fatigue and digestive problems.
To help address the “iHunch”, Ms Cuddy recommends strengthening, core body and flexibility exercises to help correct poor posture, and standing up tall while texting to improve posture. These activities should serve to improve physical health and emotional health and wellbeing.So remember to stand up for yourself and beat the “iHunch”!
So remember to stand up for yourself and beat the “iHunch”!