How many hours do you spend looking at your phone, or tablet, on a daily basis?
The average daily spend sits at around 2-4 hours which I think we can all agree is a lot of time spent looking down.
This has brought about conditions that can be summarised under the catchy title ‘Text Neck’.
Text Neck is essentially the catch-all term for neck discomfort and injury caused by looking downwards at a phone, tablet and even laptop – please see our blog about correct working positions if using a laptop for extended periods here.
Previously thought to be a lot of old nonsense, Text Neck is now being given serious attention, in no small part because of the pain it causes its sufferers.
As you might expect looking down at your screen for prolonged periods causes you to hunch forward and adds stresses to your neck and upper back. this, in turn, brings your shoulders forward and causes extra stresses there.
Over time these building stresses have a much wider impact in areas you might not expect;
– Tightening in the pectoral muscles
– Weakening of the rhomboids/trapezius due to the flex in the upper back
These imbalances can cause an even wider centre of gravity issue which pile on additional stresses to the (already overloaded) neck, upper back and shoulders.
To put things simply, forcing your head (even the leanest will be around 5kgs) downwards for long periods of time will cause widespread damage to your body.
There are a wide range of symptoms associated with Text Neck;
– Muscular spasms across the neck and shoulders
– Pressure headaches / Migraines
– Bursts of upper back pain
– Tightness across upper body muscles caused by load imbalance
So how do we treat Text Neck, is there any way this can be helped?
Of course, there is! Many ways in fact but as always prevention is the best weapon.
We recommend you follow these 3 easy guidelines to help alleviate the inevitable stresses;
You control the equipment, not the other way round.
In simple terms, you are in control of the positioning of your handheld device, hold your phone or tablet at eye level, even better still, use pillows to prop up your device to enable your arms and hands to rest down naturally beside you. I regularly prop up my daughter, Poppy’s iPad with two pillows on her knee, bringing up the iPad to her eye level, I then place another small pillow behind her iPad when she’s sat watching one of her favourite programmes.
Take. A. Break.
We appreciate that smartphones are always going to be a part of life. However falling back on it anytime you are idle is a bad habit to have, not just for your posture but also socially and for your wider mental health and capabilities.
Please see Netflix’s incredible ‘The Social Dilemma’ for proof if proof be needed.
Use it as a power for good.
Set yourself alarms, every 30 minutes is a sound start but you may want to be more adventurous, to remind yourself to get up, stretch, even hydrate or rest your eyes – the remainder is up to you really, the key is that it is working to benefit you in some way.
I appreciate that even after following the above you may feel the need for additional help, as such I’m always here to help you with a bespoke approach tailored specifically to you that will help you feel much better and as always please feel free to send over any desk setups that you’d like me to look over and give you advice on 🙂
If you have any questions about the above please get in touch, always happy to answer any of your questions!
Until next time,