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Strain on Our Quality of Life, The Only Life We Know We Are Living

Never before in my life have I been more inclined to study about posture. Having worked remote now since the pandemic, I became more aware about my working conditions. Soon thereafter, I began to realize that I had to make some adjustments about my posture. So, I started to read. Did you know that based on how much you bend your neck while you stare at your iPhone, you could be placing as much as 10 lbs to 60 lbs of pressure on your spine? The image above gives a snapshot of how much weight you place on your spine based on your neck's inclination. It's interesting how we think about the benefits of working from home, of technological advances in communication, and endless information some which is not quite useful to our quality of life such, for example, following what people in Hollywood do or don't do which is one of the most ridiculous ways in which we could spend our limited free time. Yet, we don't think often enough about some of the potential disadvantages of sitting down for endless hours at a time or putting excessive amounts of weight on our necks while we read off our cool digital devices which would impact our quality of life big time.

From an article in the Washington Post by Lindsey Bever, (2014) "That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day, according to research published by Kenneth Hansraj in the National Library of Medicine. [...] Over time, researchers say, this poor posture, sometimes called text neck,” can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery." Furthermore, "Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research. And high-schoolers might be the worst. They could conceivably spend an additional 5,000 hours in this position, Hansraj said." Tom DiAngelis, president of the American Physical Therapy Association‘s Private Practice Section, told CNN last year the effect is similar to bending a finger all the way back and holding it there for about an hour. "As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed,” he said. It can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve." And let me add, "Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease." Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine gave some sound advice about posture and what to do to avoid excessive neck damage when it comes to the usage of iPhones:

  • Look down at your device with your eyes. No need to bend your neck.

  • Exercise: Move your head from left to right several times. Use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward and then backward. Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen “the muscles of good posture,” Hansraj said.

Furthermore, I want to share something worth reading about how sitting all day can potentially affect the human body. These are things I did not learn from my parents or someone knocking on my door shouting "I am here to teach you Carmen!" My years in college did not teach me these things either. These are things I self-educated myself about which I want to share with others because I think others should know. The statement "Knowledge is power" is not a cliché but rather the truth. And I am all about the truth.

I don't get paid to write and publish these articles. I don't charge money to make a profit off any of my diary postings even though I have been encouraged to do so. Even though I do have to pay a fee to just have a website every year, which wix is entitled to as it covers the cost of having the actual platform itself to use, I don't charge any fee to my readers to pay off that expense. My articles are free to anyone who wants to simply just read. And I do this because I think it's important in life to share with others what we know and give back to the community in ways which are meaningful and educational. I believe anyone can make a difference and a love of money is not how you would ever make a difference. Instead, a love of knowledge and sharing that knowledge is the way I will make a difference, along with encouraging seekers of the truth to keep seeking. This has been my choice ever since I created and designed this website page entirely on my own. I do not charge a subscription fee and never will, not while I am living, and I don't charge any fee to cover the time it takes me to update and maintain my website which I do single-handedly. Why? Why don't I charge a subscription fee? I want to empower others in ways which are meaningful because my life calls me to do so and because I love to do it. I am not associated with any organization, whatsoever, which means that my words are not biased by being manipulated by what such any specific organization would want me to share or not share. Therefore, what I share comes from my mind and heart. This is how I practice my freedom of speech, simply out of love of knowledge and how knowledge can ultimately benefit our lives. This is what I am most passionate about.

It takes time to educate yourself, time and discipline to read and research data. These days you don't know who you can trust and you might feel very discouraged about the healthcare system, I know I do, when the majority of doctors prescribe you medications that do not cure illness but rather help alleviate the symptoms of illness. The answer is in solutions to illness not temporary relief from illness, despite that when we are at our worse times temporary relief is better than physical agony. That is totally understandable, since nobody likes to suffer. However, I do believe it is important for us to become more aware, to invest our money in things like good chairs and alternatives to sitting for extensive hours, like a stand up desk converter for instance, especially for those of us, like me, who work for hours while sitting at a computer desk. I said it many times in my life and I am happy to remind others and myself too: It is important to become aware, aware of our lives, the people we invite in it, and the ways in which we spend our limited free time which goes by so quickly. I continue to learn how to strategize my time so I can maximize this very reality for me in my own life. And I want to teach others to do the same because I see the value of life for what it is.

Here are some of the lists of problems as called out by the Mayo Clinic, which are associated with neck pain. "Neck pain is a common complaint. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it's leaning over your computer or hunching over your workbench. Osteoarthritis also is a common cause of neck pain."

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Pain that's often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer

  • Muscle tightness and spasms

  • Decreased ability to move your head

  • Headache

I urge you to research on cervical spine and also posture techniques overall. This has become a huge interest for me since I experienced vertigo about three weeks ago and since I am prone to have posture problems due to predispositions that are hereditary. Breaking the cycle of hereditary predispositions is not easy, but I also believe it's not entirely impossible. Educating ourselves about the way we live is key to overall overcoming some of life's greatest challenges. I am an advocate for this belief and I will stand strong in this.

My life has taught me that knowledge is one of the greatest tools we can possess against life's adversities. People can always opinionate and share their thoughts and ideas with you and you should be open to learning from others always with an open mind but also with an objective attitude. The most intelligent people question everything and this is not because they want to appear difficult but because they simply want the truth. And remember that it is you who ultimately decides what you believe in and what you follow. My best advice I would have given to my 20-year old self, twenty years ago, would had been this: educate yourself; it's the most powerful tool you will have in your toolbox. Fortunately, I did educate myself and I continue to do that every day of my life. Frankly, I think for as long as I live I shall continue to do so. Books are your best friends but be careful. It takes time to sort out through what books are good books and what books are not good books. And I hate to stick it to the man but the greatest of books are not the ones with perfect grammar and stylistics, despite that I love sticking to great grammar and stylistics myself in my own writings, but the ones which convey a valuable message or series of messages worth knowing and contemplating on. With this said, feel free to visit my "Her Books" page and check out my books. This is the only thing I do charge money for. It takes a lot of time and effort to write and publish a book. Plus keep in mind that the printing machine owners and the publishers who make the magic happen, they have to make money too. So, if you do ever buy a book regardless whose book it is, you should never regret having paid money for it. It pays for several people's labor and the technical innovations that make the magic of book printing happen. If you buy it and you don't like it, I urge you to donate it to the local library where curious minds hungry for cerebral stimulation and knowledge attainment lurk about seeking their own personal growth. And to those folks I say, way to go; do yourself a favor and keep going. It is my greatest delight to write these for you, to share what life has taught me. If you take nothing else away from my brief article, please take these following words away from me.

The biggest strain on your physical body is your physical health. The biggest strain on your mind is your mental health. And, finally, the biggest strain on your very soul is the health of your spiritual life. - Carmen A. Cisnadean

Cogito Ego Sum

Carmen A. Cisnadean Author, Artist, Poetess, Student of Life The Creative Visionary To visit my social pages you can find them at the social pages icons all throughout my website including on the main "About The Artist" page.


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