Friday, 16 March 2012

The Cpine

When I'm travelling anywhere, most likely I'll see the majority of people thumb-smacking their phone keys, swiping a swish swizzle on their iPads, holding a Kindle (woe), or maybe just reading a book or the paper.

We become so engrossed in these activities that our spine suffers: contorting and stiffening while our focus remains with what's held in our hands, our gaze rarely becomes distracted, with our ears plugged in and attached like reins. Our necks lengthen and pull forward away from our bodies.

Where once we stood tall, it seems we are crumpling and creating a shape for ourselves which is unnatural, unattractive, and unhealthy.

Sat on the tube one day, beside me is a man playing a first-person shooter game on his PSP. Volume at full blast, really into it, cursing when he gets shot to pieces etc. Lovely! Sitting beside one another he looks half the height of me. His head barely reaches the level of my shoulder. As he gets up to leave the train, he's at least 6ft. I presume that on every journey his seating position is much the same as he divulges in the luxury of being shot to pieces in virtual reality.

Sat on the train another day I'm opposite a man with an iPad on his lap, thrashing away at some email that obviously determines his life or death in actual reality. Irritatingly, he keeps knocking my knees. He procedes to move his face closer and closer to the device as his anger builds, thus moving his face nearer my lap. Just no. I got up and stood for the rest of the journey while he continued to finger punch his tablet of fate.

We are all guilty of slouching. Heck, I love a good lounge! How comforting it is to slump and sink sometimes. But what is so worrying is the shape in which we are forcing our bodies into for hours and hours a day; at our desks, as we travel, as we sit: a big capital 'C'. Our skulls weigh a ton - sometimes you might've been bored and tried to weigh it by making yourself all relaxed and letting it fall onto your palm? Just me? Whatever. Imagine the strain your back is under trying to hold up that beastly boulder!

I don't remember 'hunchback' ever being the norm. Yet as I look over at young children holding an iPad in both hands, cross-legged and staring into the alluring screen trying to catapult a rabid bird into some domino house made of gold-encrusted bamboo poo sticks - their spine has no purpose. It's unset jelly, slowly and surely growing naturally into that curve.

As you sit, remember your spine. As you stand, remember your spine. As you bury yourself in your Kindletron or get wrapped up in your iPad (both physically impossible, may I add. With a real book you can actually bury your head in it. Have tried; have succeeded.) just remember that yeah, you are bendy, but never take for granted that you have the option to curl up and be a slinky OR stand tall and straight.

It'll be so much harder to straighten yourself up and out than succumb to setting in the jelly mould of a capital 'C'.