We do love our devices, don’t we? Cell phones, tablets and laptops are not just convenient tools of the trade, they have become completely indispensable to daily life. But our need for 24/7 access and availability comes with a cost to our bodies.
The simple act of looking down at your screen on a regular basis can lead to degenerative changes to your neck, muscle strain, headaches and even spinal injury. We tend to hunch our shoulders forward and hold our necks at a very unnatural angle for long periods of time while we use our devices.
It’s called “tech neck” and the pain is real. Tilting your head forward by just 15 degrees actually puts an extra 27 pounds of stress on the cervical spine – aka your neck.
But there are some easy ways to prevent tech neck by improving your posture while texting, reading, working, gaming and watching videos.
Take a little break
Try taking a 3-minute break every 20 minutes while you are using your device. Look up, change your position and move around for a bit. Your device is smart – use an app or alarm to set break reminders.
Take a load off
Sit in an ergonomic chair with a headrest and keep the back of your head flush against it while using your device. You’ll get better support for your lower back, too.
Take it to higher ground
Use a holder to elevate your device closer to eye-level, which can significantly reduce how much you need to flex your neck and head forward.
Take heed with pain
If you feel pain in your neck or between your shoulders, if you have numbness or tingling in your arms, or if you experience frequent headaches - there may be something more serious going on that you can discuss with your chiropractor.
Take time to disconnect
This high-tech world can really take its toll on us. Designate time every day to put the phone down, turn off the computer and go outside. Ditch the virtual world for a while and talk to some real people!
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