6 Exercises To Undo The Daily Damage of Cell Phone Use

Is your cell phone sending your body the wrong signal? We are dependent on our devices. With the click of a button, we can access emails, play games and watch endless videos of cats doing funny things. But with this seemingly harmless convenience comes some consequential health concerns.

The human body was not designed for a digital lifestyle. Hours spent hunched over a phone places a considerable amount of stress on muscles and joints. Over time, this tension can impact and impair our strength, safety and stability. And while alarming, it’s safe to assume that this knowledge won’t slow down or stop our smartphone-loving ways. So rather than ditch your device, practice these simple exercises that help combat the health hazards associated with cell phone use.

EYES. When scrolling, the muscles surrounding the eyes squint and strain to decipher the tiny characters on that overly illuminated, cornea charing screen. Eye scrunching side effects include tension headaches, blurred vision, eye fatigue and dry eyes.

Another concern is the connection between phone use and sleep. Sleep disturbances and insomnia are common for those who cuddle up to their phone at night. Not only do rings, dings and bings disrupt your quality of sleep, staring at a bright screen before bed can also trigger the brain to stay awake and active, too.

Avoid this problem entirely by setting your alarm, then place your phone, face side down with notifications off, in the other room.

Easy On The Eyes:

  • From a seated position, take a deep breath elongating the spine. Release and relax the muscles of the forehead, eyes and jaw.

  • Keeping your head in place, gently adjust your gaze up toward the ceiling, then circle your eyes in a clockwise direction. Take your time doing this. Repeat two times then rest your eye muscles by closing them.

  • When ready, continue rolling your eyes but in a counterclockwise direction this time. Avoid practicing this eye rolling exercise in front of disgruntled bosses or spouses.

Stare Into Space:

  • Remain in your seat with your shoulders back and neck relaxed.

  • Find an object in the distance and concentrate on it. Examine all the details of this item. The goal is to redirect and refocus your eye muscles from scrutinizing a close range object to one that’s far-off.

NECK. When playing with your phone, the neck shifts into a craned, cranked position known as text neck. Each time we bring our chin down to our chest and hold it there for a long duration, an enormous amount of tension and pressure is placed on the neck. This can lead to postural issues, muscle strain and restrict our airways which limits the amount of oxygen we inhale.

Off One’s Chest:

  • While seated, inhale deeply and bring the arms behind the head. Softly clasp the hands together. Tilt the chin up slightly.

  • Squeeze the muscles between the shoulders as you pull the elbows back. Feel a deep stretch within your chest, armpits, biceps and neck. Hold for 10 counts then release.


Save Your Neck:

  • Start by bringing the left ear down toward the left shoulder. Hold for several counts, inhaling your way through the stretch. If the right shoulder begins to pop up, lightly hold it down with your left hand.

  • Now drop your chin down toward your chest, allowing the neck and upper part of the shoulder muscles to elongate.

  • Continue to take deep breaths as you rotate the head toward your right shoulder. If the left shoulder rises, apply pressure to it with the right hand. Hold for two counts then circle your head back so your gaze is directed up at the ceiling.

  • Repeat the entire sequence in the opposite direction.


WRISTS. Overuse injuries are not limited to high-impact exercises like running. Constant texting and typing can also result in an overuse injury in the wrists. Since the wrists are bent and fixed in an abnormal way while operating a phone, pressure is placed on tendons, nerves and muscles leading to conditions like carpal tunnel and even wrist sprains.

With Open Arms:

  • Extend the right arm palm side up.

  • Using your left hand, gradually pull the the right hand fingers down toward the ground. You should feel a light stretching sensation in your inner forearm.

  • Hold for 10 counts then relax your arms. Repeat on the left arm.


Make A Fist:

  • Gently squeeze your hands into a fist, resting the thumb on the outside.

  • Release and expand your fingers. Practice this exercise five times on each hand.

Stay strong and safe by practicing preventative exercises. Don’t put your health on the do not call list.

This article originally appeared on philly.com