Many years ago young men and women were encouraged to stand up straight, sometimes by balancing a book on the head, and walk with confidence.
This old-time advice isn’t so far off the mark, only nowadays the book on the head is replaced with a smartphone in the hand.
Researchers from the University of Western Sydney in Australia, conducted a study on the posture habits of those who text and try to walk at the same time. Apparently, texters lock their extremities as they try to keep their smartphone steady in their field of vision; this results in a distinctive “robot walk.” Texting while walking also tended to make participants less aware of what was in front of them and more prone to stumble or run into things (Tia Ghose, “Texting Makes You Walk Like A Clumsy Robot,” Live Science at LiveScience.com, January 22, 2014).
Other ailments include “text claw” – soreness and cramping from too much fine motor motion of the hands and fingers while playing games or texting. “iPosture” from hunching over handheld devices while seated. And short-sightedness in youngsters from too much smartphone use (Saadia Chevel, “Do YOU Have Text Claw or iPosture? Expert Reveals the 21st Century Ailments Caused by Smartphones and Tablets,” Daily Mail at DailyMail.co.uk, December 30, 2013).
Just like drinking too much coffee or eating too much junk food, sometimes we need to take a break, become conscious of what we’re doing and make positive changes. These goofy sounding ailments are amusing, but without counteracting them, they could result in serious spinal and vision issues later in life.
Remember to take care of the physical body, which was intended as “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Adjust your posture and other habits when using handheld and other digital devices in order to alleviate strain.
As they used to say, stand up straight and walk with confidence!