Technology has done amazing things for the world. Information is available at the touch of a button. We can communicate ‘face to face’ with someone across the world and the possibilities seem endless. However, what is happening to our physical body with all the time spent staring at our various devices? We have created an overuse syndrome called ‘tech neck’ or ‘text neck’.
Tech neck refers to the poor posture assumed while interacting with technology that causes neck pain and headaches. This condition is affecting both young and old alike.
Many children as young as 3 years old, have regular access to a tablet or hand-held gaming device and the effects on their health is detrimental.
A recent article by the Canadian Chiropractic Association states that a quarter of Canadians spend at least 2 hours per day on their smartphone, reading email, texting or checking social media. That adds up to over 700 hours per year with their head hanging down forward from their shoulders!
As your neck is bent unnaturally forward, the weight of your head on your neck increases. For every inch forward, it adds more than 10 pounds to the weight of your head. This adds a whole new meaning to ‘carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders’!
The statistics surrounding tech neck are alarming. In a recent study of smartphone users, 32% complained of neck pain, 26% had sore shoulders, 20% reported back pain and 19% reported pain in their wrists and hands.
Tech neck is linked to the following conditions:
- Muscle strain of the neck, shoulders and back
- Pinched nerves and numbness and tingling down the arms
- Loss of lung capacity
- Digestive issues
The longer this incorrect posture exists, the more severe symptoms become making them harder to correct.
How to fight against tech neck?
- Minimize amount of time on devices – especially in improper posture!
- Take frequent breaks from devices to change posture and move your body.
- Bring the device up to eye level so you don’t have to look down; use a stand to hold a tablet, especially for kids.
- Neck retractions
Smartphones and hand-held devices, as with anything, should be used responsibly. Tech neck can be easily prevented with proper posture! Be mindful to check the posture of your children, your friends and colleagues and remind them of their forward hunched posture. Our posture has a lifelong impact on our health.
If you are concerned about how tech neck is affecting you, don’t hesitate to contact our office!
SO, Straighten up . . . and enjoy more real life interactions!