February 10, 2017
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Posture in American teens is vile. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, it’s estimated that about 20% of American adults have chronic pain because of their posture which counts up to about 42 million adults. This problem can be fixed by simple stretching for fifteen to twenty minutes a day.
Posture is the position that someone hold their head, neck, back, and spine. It also includes arms and legs when standing, sitting, and lying down. Good posture should have one’s back, shoulders, hips, and head aligned in a straight line. Having all these parts of your body in line will equally distribute the force of gravity on your spine to make the least strain possible. A diagram of good and bad posture is shown below.
Bad posture has multiple symptoms. Poor posture can result in pain in the upper and lower back, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hips, ankles, and knees. It can also cause headaches, stiffness, and fatigue. As far as physical appearance, people may start seeing rounded shoulders and hunchback as well as tilted head.
One of the biggest causes of bad posture is cell phones. On average, American teens spend two to four hours slumped over smart phones a day. Most American adults spend 700-1,400 hours a year on their phones, and teens have an additional 5,000 hours a year when including reading and typing for school which is only setting them up for chronic pain as adults.
Teens may feel that their posture won’t have an affect on them as an adult or that their posture “isn’t that bad,” but with the amount of strain that a minimal 15° tilt to one’s head can make, teens just spend so much time in that position that they will have some sort of pain in their body.
If someone’s posture is bad, that means the muscles in their back, neck, or core are weak. This can be fixed with stretches and exercises to strengthen those muscles. This will help with posture because when those muscles are strong, it’s easier for someone’s body to be in alignment and it will feel more natural.
American teens’ posture has gotten worse as time goes on due to the mass amount of cell phones and time spent on them. Posture is an important piece of the way someone is. How one holds themselves represents their confidence, and lack of good posture will cause chronic pain throughout the body and hunchback shoulders. Teens must be aware of their body positioning because of the long term effect.