Most of us have a smart phone, a tablet, a laptop, a computer or some device that we use frequently hroughout the day. But have you ever thought about the position of your head and neck whilst using it?
“Text neck” is the term we use to describe your posture when you lean over your mobile phone or tablet to use it. You might adopt this posture for several hours a day, causing changes your spine which may result in a forward stoop.
Your head typically weighs 11lbs. Tilting it forward by just 15 degrees can add 27lbs of pressure on your spine. Tilting forward more than 45 degrees can add up to 60lbs of pressure – that’s 27kg or just over 4 stone!
Multiply that added spinal stress by a few hours a day for 365 days and it’s not hard to see how problems arise, often manifesting as pinched nerves, headaches, neck pain and degenerative changes.
What can we do to counteract this?
⦁ Try to bring your reading material to eye level to avoid looking downwards.
⦁ Adjust your seating position when driving. Sit upright with the back of your head resting against the head restraint. Adjusting the rear view mirror to a straighter and taller sitting position will encourage a better posture when sitting and help reduce slumping.
⦁ Exercises to strengthen your back and neck muscles can help maintain better posture.
⦁ If sitting at a desk or studying, optimise your ergonomics and give yourself regular breaks. Every 30 minutes or so, get up, have a walk around or do some simple desk exercises.