Using Your Phone Is Giving You Spinal Problems, According To This Group Of NTU Students

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Yes, Your Phone Could Be Killing You

We have all been through that — adults saying we’re smartphone obsessed, that we don’t “live in the moment” because we’re always on our phones, that all we know how to do is “look down”. Yes, we get it, Mom.

But telling us to get off our phones isn’t all wrong, at least that’s according to this group of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students who launched the “Stand Corrected” Campaign.


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Why you should get off your phones

87% of young adults spend three or more hours a day on their mobile devices, and that’s a substantial amount of time.

That’s not all — the survey further concluded that 60% of respondents “experience neck and back pains after using their mobile devices”, thus creating some very real effects. According to Dr Terrence Yap, the vice-president of The Chiropractic Association of Singapore, chronic neck and back symptoms that only used to affect older people are affecting people as young as 30 to 40 years old now.

This problem is now so prevalent, a term has been coined for it: Text Neck.

It Can’t Be That Serious?

At this point, you must be as confused as we are. Haven’t humans been tilting their heads forward and looking down for centuries? Be it to study, read books, sew or do manual labour?

You’re not wrong, human activity has required us to look down for prolonged periods of time. However, with the advent of mobile devices, we spend even our leisure time looking down.

In the past, people would look up and walk around, or go outdoors to play when they are done with the aforementioned activities.

People today play not in the outdoors, but on their mobile devices. A substantial percentage of us don’t even look up when we walk around!

At this rate, too much of our day is spent looking down, and this can have detrimental consequences, such as damaging the neck and shoulders.


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We are literally creating muscle and spinal problems for ourselves without realising it, because these strains creep up on us slowly. By the time we notice the real-life consequences, it might already be a tad too late, as seen in the video below.

Thankfully, all is not lost. You can always consciously not tilt your head when using your devices (and risk looking like a weirdo on the street), or regularly stretch your sore muscles to prevent the strain from becoming permanent.

On top of following Stand Corrected’s 3-step stretch, those of you who are still worried can download the Text Neck Indicator App, which creates alerts when your posture is terrible.


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Stand With Stand Corrected

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While awareness of Text Neck syndrome has gained traction overseas, it has not in Singapore, a shocking fact considering that Singapore has one of the highest mobile device penetration rates in the world.

Stand Corrected hopes to change this with their campaign. As part its on-ground efforts, a mobile experiential booth was set up on Orchard Road on Feb 11. It featured “Pay with a Stretch” — a free charging station where passers-by can charge their mobile phones for free after following a simple stretch routine.

Increasing Awareness

Stand Corrected proves that it is never too late to start saving Singaporeans from this syndrome, and awareness has started to increase with their on ground efforts.

Interested readers can support Stand Corrected on its Facebook page.

Featured image from YouTube.

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