This is how you can prevent your tech neck
A lot of people hold their tech devices, like cell phones, tablets and e-readers, at chest or waist level, not eye level. This is very logical, because holding your arms up all the time is pretty straining. So instead of raising the arms, we compensate with our head and neck. This causes you to look down at your device by bending your neck and rounding your shoulders forward, both of which are terrible for your posture. It places your cervical spine in a tenuous position. This is the birth of the tech neck! Another term to describe it is text neck. And some refer to it as a new epidemic.
Over long periods of time, maintaining this head-forward posture can lead to muscle strain, disc injury, nerve impingement and arthritic changes of the neck—and the potential for developing ongoing neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and pain radiating down the arms. This comes from the fact that by bending your neck, your cervical spine, increases the amount of pressure it generates on the vertebrae, discs, spinal cord and nerves. This can be as bad as 27kg (60lbs) compared to a normal 5kg (11lbs).
Almost all the time we spend looking at any screen has the potential for damaging the neck. So, what can you do to protect your neck? Turn away from the screen! No, really. It’s recommended you take short breaks from your screen time to get up, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a breather anyway. This is a good opportunity for you to also take note of your posture and pain levels.
5 easy tips to prevent tech neck
To avoid developing degenerative neck changes due to posture, here are 5 easy steps you can start with today.
- Set time limits.
Limit the amount of time and frequency that you use your device. If you have to use it for an extended period of time, take breaks. Develop a habit of taking a three-minute break for every 15-20 minutes you use your device. Change your posture and move around.
- Set an automatic reminder.
You can use an automatic alarm on your device to remind you to take a short break. If you have a wearable device like an iWatch, you can use it to remind you to take a time out every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use a tablet/phone holder.
Purchase a holder to elevate your device to reduce the amount of neck flexion and forward positioning significantly. Try to keep the device as close to eye level as possible. This is a great tool to reduce your tech neck.
- Lay down on your belly.
A change of posture every now and then is good anyways. When you are at home you can also lay on the couch for example with the belly down. This makes you tilt your head up and is great for variation. But be aware, don’t stay in this posture too long. Keep taking the breaks as suggested with Tip 1.
- Exercise your neck.
Yes, there’s a way to work out your neck to help prevent tech neck. Start by giving yourself a side neck stretch by placing four of your right-hand fingers on the left-hand side of your forehead, then place your left hand on your shoulder, and pull your head to the right and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Corpus VR can help you with following the correct movements during these exercises. As studies have shown that Corpus VR helps people quickly with performing the right movements and thus speeding up the process.
The genie stretch exercise. Yes, this can really help to stretch and loosen your neck. The name could suggest it can work miracles, that might not be the case for you. But you can give it a try. Check the genie exercise right here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npQCSQCjc24
Hopefully, these tips and information are useful for you.