This post is not about mobile fragmentation (f-word) or any other technical challenges that we as mobile tester have to handle in our daily work life. No, this post is about health, our health while we are working all day long with mobile devices and this post should show you the drawbacks of that.
While testing mobile apps our neck and our eyes are under extreme burden. While looking down to the devices our neck is forced into an unnormal position which puts high pressure to our neckbones and may lead to a headache, neck pain or even more back problems.
There is even a term for that problem, it’s called ‘text neck’.
The Drawbacks of being a Mobile Tester
The following things happen with our body when we are looking down to the mobile devices :
- Our neck moves forward.
- Our shoulders round forward or lift up toward our ears.
- Our neck and shoulder muscles spasm (contract).
Normally our neck muscles are designed by nature to support the weight (4,5kg to 5,5kg) of our head. Research have shown that for every inch we are moving our head forword we are doubling the pressure on our neck muscles. That means that if we are looking down to our mobile devices we put about 30kg of pressure to our neck. This high amount of pressure to our neck is not good and is a big problem to our health and we need to do something against it.
Symptoms of a Text Neck
If you are working as a mobile tester watch out for the following symptoms to start early in preventing your neck to become a text neck.
The symptoms range from upper back pain to upper back muscle spasms. Next to the upper back pain, the shoulders may hurt and will spasm as well. If some nerves becomes pinched, pain and neurological symptoms can radiate into your arm and hand and can have a huge impact to your movement.
How to prevent a Text Neck
The following points are copied from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/03/text-neck-is-smartphone-use-causing-your-neck-pain/.
- Straighten up. Learn proper posture and neck alignment by peeking at your profile in a mirror. If you’re standing correctly, you should be able to draw a vertical line from your ear to your shoulder.
- Arch back. If your posture isn’t perfect, try doing shoulder extensions. Arch your neck and upper back backward, pulling your shoulders into alignment under your ears. This simple stretch can alleviate stress and muscle pain.
- Look forward. Rather than tilting your chin down to read your mobile device, raise the device to eye level. The same goes for your desktop computer. Your monitor screen should be at eye level so your head isn’t perpetually dropping and causing muscle strain.
Another problem that may happen to you are vision problems.
Normally, we blink about 15 times per minute, but this rate decreases by half when we are staring at our smartphone . The following list shows symptoms of vision problems:
- Blurred Vision
- Sore Eyes
- Muscle Strain
- Dry Eyes
If you encounter problems on your eyes or neck, you should think about a way to prevent your body becoming sick. One rule can be, to have regular breaks every 20 minutes. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, stare at something at least 20 feet (6m) away for at least 20 seconds .
This rule will help you to rest your eyes and to prevent your body becoming vision problems. Try it out, it is pretty easy to do so. I hope this article was helpful to you, to show you the drawbacks of being a mobile tester.
Note: This article is just to inform you about the risks that may happen when working as mobile tester. If you have the feeling that you have some of the symptoms, please don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor!
#HappyTesting if this still possible 😉
 Article image source http://www.chargertimes.com/2512/features/text-neck/