There are two things I can tell about you right now. Most likely you are reading this article on your smart-phone or on your computer, and your posture is not the best while you are doing so. Am I right? Your head is tilted, your shoulders are rounded and your spine is not upright. Third poor posture is called “Text Neck”, and it is the result of staring down at your screen for half of the day.
But you are not alone on this, actually, the average smartphone user spends two to four hours a day staring at their smartphone or computer, which means that they spend over 700 hours a year. Most likely, said users stare down at their phones, which causes neck stiffness and pain, instead of looking straight up with a more comfortable position that will cause less damage to the spine. When inclined, the head can feel heavier to the neck and shoulders, causing a sensation of extreme discomfort that can lead to chronic pain and back problems. This also makes your lungs lose 30% of their breathing capability, pain in the cervical spine and muscle damage. Thankfully, text neck can be avoided and the pain can be reduced.
1. Bring your phone higher when texting: Whether you are texting, checking your emails while on the go, finding the shorter route home or just looking at another cat video, try to bring your phone higher so you won’t slouch. Remember that your head feels heavier to your shoulders when tilted, so avoiding this position will help your muscles feel less stressed and tight.
2. Use a headset: When talking on the phone, try to use a headset instead of holding your phone between your ear and neck. This position causes tension and pressure to the muscles around your neck and shoulders, causing a lot of pain. By using a headset, you can maintain your upright position and still talk to those you need to. This can also help you avoid spending time on your phone which we know it causes bad posture and a lot of pain.
3. Stretch: Stretching can help you alleviate the neck pain. Tilt your head so your left shoulder and your ear touch each other, and maintain this position for 15 seconds, repeat it with the other side. Make sure to ask a physician or therapist which stretching exercises are more suitable for you. Do them while you are at your desk, watching TV or commuting to your work.
4. Take advantage of Siri: Siri does more than just tell you jokes when you ask for them. Siri can actually help you avoid text neck by just asking it to text your friends for you. Activate Siri, and ask it to make calls, send text messages or find an address. The less you look down at you phone, the less stress it will have.
5. Take breaks from your phone: You know how your mom always told you to stop spending so much time in front of the TV and go play outside instead? This can save your neck! Taking breaks from using your phone can help you reduce the stress your slouched position causes to your neck and shoulders. Go for a walk without your phone, and see how your neck will not hurt as much as it always does.
And lastly, invest in the latest smart wearable tech to help you with your posture. One that will train your core muscles as well as your back muscles, and will vibrate every time you slouch. Like UPRIGHT Pose.