The head and neck design allow for flexion and regular forward leaning. The challenge and consequences begin to occur when they maintain flexed or forward head posture positions for long, consistent periods of time. Cell phones, computers, desk jobs, and more sedentary living contribute to the growing number of people suffering from forward head posture syndromes and other detrimental health consequences.
The average person spends 2 to 4 hours a day with their head tilted forward for reading and texting on their smart phones. This amounts to 700-1400 hours of excess, abnormal cervical spine stress per year. 86% of American workers sit all day at their job in addition to time spent sitting on the couch after work watching television, reading, playing games or surfing the internet. Sedentary seating adds up to approximately 13 hours per day for the average person.
Sitting for long periods of time takes a toll on the body. Head posture in comparison to the neck and shoulders influences so many other aspects of health and performance. Forward head flexion for long periods of time negatively impacts whole body function. A study published in 2017 showed that forward head posture caused changes in the lungs, respiratory function, and neck muscles due to the strain placed on delicate structures in the head and neck. Significant correlations were found between forward head posture, lung volume, forced expiration, and neck muscle balance. As forward head deviation got worse, the lung and neck muscle findings and measurements also got worse. Authors concluded that forward head posture lowered respiratory functions and concluded with the need for maintenance of correct head posture to prevent restrictions and long-term health degeneration.
Chiropractic care represents one of the most utilized healthcare interventions to help patients improve their posture, head position, and spinal health. Three proactive tips to improve posture, reduce the risk of forward head flexion, and improve overall health and well-being include:
- Pursue regular Chiropractic care.
- Utilize proper sitting ergonomics to ensure technology and office tasks be done with the head and neck at eye level.
- Take regular breaks every hour to keep the spine and body moving.
Chiropractors take pride in educating their patients on the dangers of prolonged sitting and forward head syndrome while providing unique care which minimizes the risk of poor spinal and postural health. The best health care plan involves a proactive approach to prevent disease and damage which hinders the body’s function and performance. Choose Chiropractic.
J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017 Aug 3;30(4):711-715. doi: 10.3233/BMR-140253.Correlation between forward head posture, respiratory functions, and respiratory accessory muscles in young adults.Kim MS, Cha YJ, Choi JD.