We live in a constantly connected world…one where anyone can reach you at any time! There are times when it’s good to be connected, and other times when it’s a burden. Unfortunately, being tethered to your smartphone can be a pain in the neck. Literally and figuratively.
What is “Tech-Neck”?
The simple definition: poor posture that can lead to a lot of neck pain. This 21st century problem can be caused by straining your neck forward to see the screen of your tablet or smartphone and holding your neck at an unnatural angle. And it stays there for much longer than it should, causing muscle strain and pain. Handheld device users also tend to hunch their shoulders forward. The oddly angled neck and rounded shoulders strains the entire upper body.
Add general work stress to the poor posture, and handheld device addicts can feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.
What Can You Do?
- Set Time Limits
- Look up from the screen every 5 minutes or so.
- Better yet, bring the smartphone up to eye level (Ok, we know you won’t look cool, but at least you won’t be in pain).
- If all else fails, set a reminder to take a three-minute break for every 15-20 minutes of use on your device.
- Utilize Posture-Friendly Devices
- A tablet stand is a great tool to reduce tech-neck. When using a tablet holder, keep the device at eye level to stop yourself from shifting your weight onto your neck.
- Sit in a chair with a headrest, making sure that the back of your head stays in contact with the headrest while using your phone or tablet.
- Neck Exercises
- These easy neck stretches and exercises can be done right at your desk and can help get you the relief you need.
Neck pain isn’t a status symbol. Never letting go of your smartphone doesn’t make you a better worker, despite what your boss says. Take care of your body, and do what you can to avoid neck pain, even if it means disconnecting from a constantly connected high-tech world.
The team at Benningfield & Associates are dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal well-being through natural methods including spinal adjustment, muscle rehabilitation and physical therapy. Not only do we diagnose and treat a wide range of chiropractic conditions, we believe in educating our patients. We are committed to helping our patients improve the quality of their lives by providing advanced care in a friendly atmosphere. If you are experiencing pain due to poor posture, please visit the Benningfield & Associates website or call 309.692.6800.