Have you heard the term “text neck?”
Even if you’re not texting all day — when you tilt your head down to look at any type of device for any length of time — it’s going to have a negative effect on your spine. You probably feel it as pain in your neck, shoulders and/or upper back.
Why The Angle of Your Neck Makes a Difference
Here’s a quick overview: the average human head weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. If you bend your head forward (to email, text or surf the web), the weight of your head increases to 27-60 pounds depending on the angle. Imagine carrying an eight-year-old around your neck for several hours a day!
You can counteract these negative effects by using proper body posture and ergonomics when using a device — whether it’s a phone, tablet or computer. I found this article and infographic helpful in demonstrating correct posture while using devices. I also learned while researching this short post that there are apps out there to alert you about your neck angle — seriously? Be sure to let me know in comments if you’ve tried one of these.
For today, I’m sharing a 10-minute Yoga with Adriene video for those times when you forget to take care of your spine while using a device — or if you strain your neck and shoulders while gardening or doing a host of other activities.
On a personal note, I’ve dealt with neck and shoulder pain a lot lately, due to a heavy workload that requires long hours at a computer. I’v tried re-arranging my computer workstation (raising the height of my monitor; switching chairs, etc.) and I’ve also tried changing my posture (alternating sitting and standing). Taking stretching breaks every 20 to 30 minutes seems to help a little.
I’m learning there’s no one magic answer to “text neck”, but a series of small steps can bring relief. If you have something that’s worked well for you, I’d love to hear it! Do you do yoga or pilates? Any ergonomic tips to share?
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