Study Finds How To Hold Your Phone To Avoid Poor Posture & Pain

mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant By Sarah Regan
mindbodygreen Editorial Assistant
Sarah Regan is a writer, registered yoga instructor, and Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Study Found The Best Way To Look At Your Phone For Optimal Alignment

Image by Raymond Forbes LLC / Stocksy

If using your phone has ever had you feeling stiff, you may want to reconsider your texting posture. And while constantly adjusting your posture might seem unrealistic, researchers from South Korea may have just figured out a better way to hold your phone.

Because while we love them for the convenience and connectedness they offer, phones have definitely taken a toll on our necks and shoulders. As ironic as it may seem for us to encourage you to lie down, this research demonstrated that lying on your side is actually the best way to avoid pain when using your phone.

Bad posture while using your devices can eventually lead to upper back pain and neck issues, as well as pain in your arms and wrists. So, to figure out the best way to mitigate the strain, researchers studied what happened when 30 healthy young adults used their phones while either sitting, lying on their backs, or lying on their sides.

The participants used their phones for five minutes at a time, with a five-minute rest in between, while an electromyograph tracked the activity occurring in the muscles, from wrists to elbows and more, in each of the three postures.

The electromyograph revealed that muscles were the most active while sitting, with the angles of certain joints demonstrating the strain being put on the subjects' bodies. Those who were lying down, though, had more neutral angles in their joints. And on top of that, scans showed the least amount of muscle activity.

This suggests lying on your side (not your back) while on your phone offers the most optimal alignment. And given what we know about how posture can affect other aspects of your health (proper posture can improve both your mood and your respiratory health), there's never been a better time to check our tech habits.

Obviously there are certain circumstances throughout the day where you can't just lie down, but when you're lounging at home, keep this in mind—especially if phone usage has your neck feeling sore. And for the days when you're more concerned with relief than prevention, be sure to incorporate some of these neck and shoulder stretches as well.

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