Eye Posture: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

Eye Posture: How Staring Down at Your Phone Can Affect Your Health

Eye Posture is a striking photographic series – created by student Chris Rand, to raise awareness of the ill posture that New York City commuters maintain habitually while looking at their cell phones. This series emphasizes the risks of the behavior that people willingly participate in for an average of 2.8 hours per day during their daily commute.

 

[Smartphones] have negative consequences on the health of some 4 billion cellphone users in the world.

 

The idea for the project came to Chris when he was observing runners and cyclists who maintained ill posture while engaging in those activities. However, he decided to switch his attention to a common occurrence that he witnessed on his daily commute, and that he himself was engaged in quite often. “Many of us have observed how people sit or stand when they stare at their phones, and are aware that it’s not right. But then, we turn down to our own hand-held screens, and end up in that same posture,” said Chris. With that in mind, he wanted to bring attention to this silent behavior with eye-catching graphics that express what spine surgeons and occupational therapists say has negative consequences on the health of some 4 billion cellphone users in the world.

He wanted to develop vivid images of this behavior so that he could supplement the bland images that are currently being circulated by chiropractors and occupational therapists.

 

The weight of the average person’s head increases from 10 pounds to 60 pounds when the chin drops down by about 60 degrees.

 

To educate himself further of the health risks caused by such ill posture, Chris researched studies related to the subject matter. He came across findings by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, a surgeon at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Hansraj created a computer model to simulate the amount of strain that people put on their spines when they lower their chin towards the chest for extended amounts of time (scientifically known as neck flexion). He found that the weight of the average person’s head increases from 10 pounds to 60 pounds when the chin drops down by about 60 degrees. This added weight, when prolonged, is what leads to consistent neck and back pain.

Using images of public-transportation commuters, Chris created visuals to show how much more weight is added to one’s head, depending on the angle at which they are looking at their phone. He stated, “By viewing these images and numbers, I hope that commuters will realize that an action as trivial as looking at one’s cell-phone can have grave effects on one’s health.”

 

 

[These graphics] would be a ergonomic means to educate multitudes of New Yorkers on how to maintain better posture, thereby taking better care of their backs.

 

In order to specifically educate subway commuters, Chris formatted his imagery/message in the graphic style used by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York City for their Courtesy Counts ads. Posting these graphics on the MTA platforms and in the subway cars would be a ergonomic means to educate multitudes of New Yorkers on how to maintain better posture, thereby taking better care of their backs.

Chris hopes his imagery will circulate throughout social media and printed advertisements to communicate this subject back to the 77% of Americans who use smartphones.

Moving forward, Chris will research the physical consequences of prolonged neck flexion in young children and teenagers, who are experiencing symptoms that adults have in their 30s. Through more imagery, he hopes to convey alternative postures and stretches that will be simple solutions to neck, shoulder and head pain.

Chris’ biggest success during the project was to not participate in the posture he was observing. Instead, he used his phone less and was rewarded a few times by unexpectedly seeing people he knew during the commute - a true serendipity that can occur when not absorbed in screen-time.

Racket: Products of Design Helps Out With Menstrual Heath Initiative

Racket: Products of Design Helps Out With Menstrual Heath Initiative

On Sunday, the MFA Products of Design helped out the amazing grass-roots organization Racket by providing space for one of their epic "packaging" sessions. In only three hours, a cadre of volunteers met at the department and packed kits of over 25,000 products—a record according to Racket founders Margo Seibert and Caroline Angell.

TRIAGE: Launches at Wanted Design for NYCxDESIGN 2017!

TRIAGE: Launches at Wanted Design for NYCxDESIGN 2017!

Students of SVA’s MFA in Products of Design present TRIAGE, an interactive exhibition that reframes contemporary urgencies through the lens of design. The work is part of the city-wide NYCxDesign celebration. We live in uncertain times, faced with a political climate where institutions that offer solutions to complex challenges are under threat, systematically undermined, and dismantled. TRIAGE consists of six roving design interactions that assess the socio-political priorities of visitors to the design festival. At the start of the exhibition, visitors receive a TRIAGE CARD that tracks and gradually compiles their unique profile.

COINCIDENT TIMES: Product Designs From the Future

COINCIDENT TIMES: Product Designs From the Future

Correlation. Causation. Coincidence. Designers have the power to change the world, but where they situate their work in time and in place often determines the impact more than the designed artifacts themselves. In Coincident Times, the graduate students of the MFA in Products of Design at the School of Visual Arts explore speculative pasts and futures to produce fifteen product proposals for the present day— each a 3-dimensional manifestation of their year-long thesis, and each attempting to reconcile their points of view with their imagined, preferred states.

Photos From Our 4OURTH Thesis Presentation Day

Photos From Our 4OURTH Thesis Presentation Day

We'll be publishing the individual thesis projects, videos, and books in separate posts over the summer, but we wanted to quickly share some of the highlight photographs from this past Friday's Thesis Presentations at the SVA Theatre in New York City. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Summer Desks Co-working Space

Summer Desks Co-working Space

MFA in Products of Design is proud to offer its Summer Desk Rental program. All proceeds go to supporting the program and its students. We are ideally located in the heart of Chelsea on 21st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, close to several subway stops. The location is a sun-drenched 7th floor, designed by andArchitects, and features great amenities.

Photos From Our 5th Anniversary Reunion!

Photos From Our 5th Anniversary Reunion!

On April 1st, the MFA Products of Design celebrated it's 5th anniversary, welcoming back graduates from all years since the inception of the program. Designed and produced by the cmmttee—Eden Lew, Natsuki Hayashi, and Marianna Mezhibovskaya—the event featured refreshments from Radiant Pig and the The City Bakery. Thanks to everyone who made the evening so memorable, and enjoy some pictures below!

Alum Jon Wins MythBusters:The Search to Become a MythBuster!

Alum Jon Wins MythBusters:The Search to Become a MythBuster!

A couple months back we told you about alum Jon Lung competing on the new MythBusters? Well, Jon made it to the Final Four contestants, and on Saturday night during the "live reveal", Jon won one of the two new MythBuster host spots! Congrats Jon!

Announcing 4OURTH: MFA Products of Design Thesis Presentations Are May 5th!

Announcing 4OURTH: MFA Products of Design Thesis Presentations Are May 5th!

We invite you to attend the Masters Thesis showcase presentations of the 2017 graduating class of the MFA in Products of Design program on Friday, May 5th at the SVA Theatre from 1-5pm. 15 graduating masters students will each present their year-long thesis work, comprised of research, artifacts, services, experiences, and platforms.