Zombies, Chronic Illness, Texting, and Body Pain



Is it just me or do people look like walking ZOMBIES nowadays? 

I’ve seen people walking around with their eyes barely open, dark circles and bags under their eyes, looking upset and stressed with their head down texting while listening to music through their earbuds and NOT paying attention to the environment around them.

Sounds very zombie-like doesn’t it? 

Lack of sleep, maxed out schedules, mismanaged stress, lack of physical activity, and constant interaction with the virtual world have padded the United States’ chronic disease numbers more than ever. 

How did we turn into zombies?

  • As of 2012, about half of all adults—117 million people—have one or more chronic health conditions. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015)
  • Heart disease, cancer, and stroke were among the five leading causes every year between 1935 and 2010.
  • On average, U.S. adults age 25 to 55 reported sleeping only 6 hours, 31 minutes on weekdays and 7 hours, 22 minutes on weekends. (source: National Sleep Foundation)
  • Multi-tasking is what makes us feel pressed for time,” says Elizabeth Dunn, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. (Read more in this Economist article that breaks down the busy bug that has plagued our world over the years.)
  • “People are frugal in guarding their personal property; but as soon as it comes to squandering time they are most wasteful of the one thing in which it is right to be stingy,” said author Lucius Annaeus Seneca. “Life is long if you know how to use it [time].”
  • In a 2014 National Public Radio survey, 49 percent of respondents said they had a major stressful event or experience in the past year. Health-related problems were the most common source of stress followed by finances and work. (Read more about the survey at http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/07/327322187/stressed-out-americans-tell-us-about-stress-in-their-lives)
  • A 2014 Stanford University study examined national health survey results from 1988 through 2010. Researchers found huge increases in both obesity and inactivity, but not in the overall number of calories consumed.

MH Jeeves, from Economist.com

Now, let’s talk about the ridiculous amount of time we spend on our cell phones (not even including lap tops, pc’s, nooks, tablets, etc.).

  • As of January 2014, 90% of all American adults had mobile phones, including a whopping 98% of 18-29-year-olds.
  • On average, Americans spend about 2 hours 57 minutes on their phones per day or more than 20 hours per week. During that time, you could have watched 40 episodes of your favorite sitcom or taken 27 spinning classes (or both at the same time)!
  • 61% of the people use their phones in the bathroom. 
  • People also use their phones when eating at a restaurant (36%), when riding public transportation (35%) or when playing with children (35%). 

(Source: http://www.brandwatch.com/2015/04/infographic-are-you-addicted-to-your-phone/)


Next up…

Body Pain.cellphone2

Look how the person to the bottom right is standing in the picture. Better yet, check out the person in the bottom left image below. Both stances pose problems for the individual.

cellphoneThe person to the RIGHT exhibits a significant arch in the lower back and the knees appear to be locked. The calves (gastrocnemius and soleus), hip flexor, lower spine (erector spinae), muscles on the inside region of the thigh (adductors), and the largest muscle of the back (lattisimus dorsi) are all overworked and tight for this person. Possible injuries: hamstring complex strain, anterior knee pain, low-back pain.

The person to the left exhibits significant cervical extension (extended neck) and scapular rotation (forward shoulder roll). The neck (sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae, and scalenes), shoulders (upper trapezius), back (teres major, subscapularis, and latissimus dorsi) and chest (pectoralis major and minor) are all overworked and tight for this person. Possible injuries include headaches, biceps tendonitis, rotator cuff impingement, thoracic outlet syndrome.

Two images above are from http://www.freeimages.com

This best ways to resolve these issues is to STRETCH THE OVERWORKED MUSCLES and to make some minor changes to your posture when using a phone or similar device.

3 Quick and Easy Cell Phone Use Posture Tips

  1. Hold the phone at eye level (see picture on the right).
  2. If standing, have a slight soft bend in your knees.
  3. Brace your core and add a posterior tilt (think minor pelvic thrust and squeeze your butt cheeks together) to your pelvis. This removes the potential lower back arch.

As always, CONTACT ME to learn more about these tips, review specific stretches, and discuss how you can strengthen muscles that are underworked in these postures.

2 responses

  1. Yeah see everyone bitches about chronically ill people not wanting to exercise but when we actually go looking for fitness resources we get slammed with bullshit like this–just a bunch of blame based on complete pseudoscience that literally isn’t helpful to anyone at all. A sarcastic thanks to you.

    1. Hi Van, Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog post. What are your suggestions for making this a more helpful blog post?

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