No matter where you are, you see people putting their neck muscles under stress, while using their phones, tablets, and computers. In homes, offices, walking down the street or standing in line, “tech neck” or the pain, soreness or stiffness in the neck and shoulders is caused from looking down at digital devices constantly.
Health Matters: What causes “tech neck”?
When you are looking down at your phone or working on a computer, the muscles in the back of your neck contract to hold your head up. These muscles can get overly tired and sore from looking down all the time. The more you look down at phones and computers the more the muscles have to work to keep your head up. That is what we call “tech neck.”
So, How Should You Sit Instead?
The best way to sit when looking at electronics is with your chair reclining 25-30 degrees with good lumbar support. You want to prevent slouching. In this position, the disks in the neck and back are not under as much force as they would be in a fully upright position and the neck muscles do not have to contract to hold up your head.
What are the symptoms of tech neck and should I be worried?
The symptoms of tech neck are headaches, stiff necks, spasms, and pain between the shoulder blades. In severe situations, some people can experience numbness and weakness or tingling that goes down their arms. This is caused by a pinched nerve. If you have a pinched nerve that is a time to be worried because you may have to consider calling a doctor for advice on how to fix it.
How can one prevent tech neck?
If you have neck pain that is bothering you daily, you should be doing some form of exercise regularly. You could try jogging, swimming, walking, or any other kind of physical exercise that you enjoy doing. Choose something that does not irritate your neck pain. Aim to work out for 20 to 30 minutes a day, 3 to 4 times a week. Not only will it make you healthier, but it will also help ease the tension in the back of the neck.
How Will Exercise Help Tech Neck?
When you work out, it sends blood to tired muscles and motivates them to stand up straight. Another study showed the benefits of proper posture to include decreases in stress, increased feelings of comfort, and power and an increase in risk-taking.
Almost 100 percent of people suffer from tech neck. Anyone who spends a lot of time on their computer or phone is going to complain about pain in their neck. Almost every person complains that working on a computer makes their neck pain worse. So remember, if you want to prevent tech neck, sit in a better position, get less screen time, and get more exercise.