benefits of 'screen-less' walking

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the days of 1990s yore … the mobile phone wasn’t in the hands and pockets of every individual in the Western world.

 

There was once a time when people weren’t stepping into oncoming trains because of checking their Instagram, or falling off ancient templesfalling off ancient templesfalling off ancient temples whilst taking the perfect selfie.

 

And whilst these are examples of the very immediate risks of being too engrossed in your phone as you walk around the world, there are plenty of other negative side-effects too.

text-neck

This really is simple and I won’t dwell on it too long.

 

If you spend your time constantly hunched over a desk, book, car or phone .. you become hunched.

 

It’s not your age, it’s because you’ve spent too long hunched forward and you get locked like that.

 

If you have your head constantly poked out and down whilst texting, your body adapts to this and gets locked up. This is text neck.

It’s actually quite scary to see how many under-18s are so posturally deformed in this way already. I’ll be very rich in a few years when they need to come and see me to learn how to undo the damage.

 

You spend long enough on a screen as it is. At least put your phone away whilst you’re walking around and enjoy what’s going on in the real world!

bingo wings

Would you think it crazy if I said you could tone up your arms without lifting weights/increasing the load through them?

 

Well, I am not. (Well, I am, but for other reasons … )

 

If we allowed our arms to swing naturally and rhythmically down by our sides as we walked (not with hands stuffed in pockets or clutching onto our phones), we would be very easily taking our shoulders through frequent, gentle flexion and extension. Over time, this would be toning up our bingo wings (aka wobbly triceps) as we swang our arms into extension.

recruiting our 'cross patterning' system

This is kind of leading on from the previous point, but your body has evolved, over millions and millions of years, to need all your muscles and all of your appendages.

 

Your arms are not supposed to be dead weights (or constantly grappling a phone) whilst you walk.

 

They are very much an important part of maintaining a dynamic gait pattern. The opposite shoulder and opposite hip have a very important relationship in both driving you forwards as you walk, but also delicately balancing your centre of mass in exactly the right places as you move.

 

If you aren’t using your arms during movement, your body is going to have to find stability and momentum from elsewhere.

 

It’s this sort of thing which contributes towards long term compensatory movement patterns which cause people pain.

eyes are strong when we use them to look at stuff

Myopia (aka short sightedness) is yet another affliction of the post-Industrial Western world.

 

If you spend most of your time indoors, immersed in unnatural light, staring maximum 2 feet in front of you, barely changing the angle of your head or asking your eyes to re-focus over different distances all whilst staring at a glaring screen .. your eyes thinks this is all they need to be able to do.

 

They aren’t going to work very well over longer distances.

 

Your eyes, just like any other cell in your body, adapt to the load and demand you put on them.

 

If you don’t use them much in the way in which they were designed (constantly flitting over different distances in outside, natural light), they are going to only work over the distances that you use them for the most.

 

Again, another reason to put the phone away. Exercise those eyes whilst walking!