Beware of tech neck

Are you reading this on your phone? Chances are you are. How are you sitting? Is your head leaning forward over your hunched shoulders? Probably.

Look around you. How are other people sitting? Are they hunched over their desk in front of their computer or slouching over their phones?

Your posture probably isn’t currently causing you pain, but when we start slouching over our technology, which on average we look at for over eight hours a day, then over time it can start to cause problems.

Kenneth K. Hansraj conducted an experiment looking at the impact phones have on our posture and he found that although the head weighs 4.5-5.5kg (10-12lb) when standing up, with every inch you move your head forward the weight on your spine increases. A small 15 degree tilt adds an extra 7.7kg (17lbs), and the weight increases the more you lean forward. All of which puts extra pressure on your spine, and can lead to pain in your neck and shoulders.

© Kenneth K. Hansraj

Signs you’re getting tech neck

You probably don’t think you look at your phone excessively but if you start feeling the following symptoms you may be suffering from tech neck:

  • Aching shoulders
  • Headaches
  • Painful neck
  • Tingling in your arms

What can we do to avoid tech neck?

  • Hold your phone up when reading it. Yes, you might look like you’re trying to take a photo! But it will save your neck, shoulders and spine in the long term.
  • Don’t spend hours and hours looking at your phone or tablet. Take a break, get up, walk around, do some light stretches like tilting your head side to side, rolling your shoulders and sitting up straight.

If you feel you’re suffering from tech neck then osteopathy can help. Shoulder and neck pain is very common and we treat people every week suffering with painful necks and shoulders. Give us a call on 020 8316 5316 to find out how we can help.

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