Not exactly. While technology advancements are a fantastic achievement, and have enabled us to be able to store most all of our necessary work and schedules online, making it an amazingly simple task to keep all your homework in just one spot, it’s becoming very quickly obvious that hours on end spent on the computer is the key to a deteriorating spine. We’ve all heard it’s not good for our eyes, and that we need to get out and exercise at least every once in a while. But have you ever thought about just how bad it may be to sit with your head down all day? Time for some biology – bear with me, I’ll try to keep it from getting too boring:
In your spine, you have 33 bones, called vertebrae, stacked on top of each other and separated into four groups, with your tailbone at the end. Stacked on top of each other – most of your bones connect in sockets and joints, but 33 bones stacked on top of each other? That’s a pretty delicate system. Because of this, the way you stand, sit, and even sleep can make a big difference on the way your spine ages – and if you need a reason to care, just trust me, neck and back problems are not fun. Not to mention, chiropractors are expensive. All you really need to do to prevent problems, however, is stand up straight. Slouching all the time will have you end up looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame by the time you’re 30: your spine isn’t meant to be curved inwards, it has its own natural curves.
Bullis, along with countless other schools, may be setting you up to play the lead role as the Hunchback by the time you’re as old as Quasimodo. Have you ever sat in your science class for longer than 30 minutes, and just started to get really uncomfortable? It’s because you’re sitting on a stool with no back, so you end up hunched forward with your elbows on the table and your hands cupping your chin. Ever had a back or neck ache after spending a long amount of time writing that essay with your computer in your lap? It’s because your head is down and your back is curved in. When your head is pointed downwards for long amounts of time, the seven vertebrae in your neck can shift. When these bones shift, your muscles and ligaments will stretch to make up for it, and form knots of scar tissue. I didn’t need to do intense research to give you this information – a couple of trips to the chiropractic office and I’ve been debriefed a couple of times to remember. These are all problems, and cracking your neck doesn’t necessarily fix it. That being said, you can still crack your neck, but (as heard from a chiropractor) you should limit yourself to twice a day. Cracking your neck might make you feel better, but you’re not actually shifting those bones back into place – only your trained chiropractor can do that.
Health departments recommend about two hours a day on the computer, for multiple reasons. While it’s good to get out and exercise, and I’m confident it’s not good to be looking at a screen all day, my personal, biggest concern, is my spine. Standing and sitting up straight, as well as sleeping on your back, or on your side without having your head tucked into your chest, can guarantee you a healthy spinal system. I hope that reading about the potential dangers of common technology wasn't too boring, and that you're able to maintain your healthy spine throughout your school and future careers.