Everywhere you look, people seem to be looking at some sort of screen. In fact, one study found that Americans spend more than 17 hours looking at digital devices each day. Calculated out, an average American will spend 44 years looking at devices.
This constant connection can come at a cost in the form of tech neck, which can lead to neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. To help avoid tech neck, the team here at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management pulled together the following five tips.
1. Keep your devices at eye level
One of the most important steps that you can take to avoid tech neck is to ensure that your screens are at eye level. We know it’s called a laptop, but staring down at a screen can place a great deal of strain on your cervical spine. To put some numbers to this, holding your head at a 30-degree angle places 40 pounds of pressure on your neck.
If you keep your screens at eye level, your head will be raised and your spine will straighten to a 0-degree angle, which lightens the pressure to just 10-12 pounds..
A great tip is to hold your phone up higher and to place your computer on top of a stack of books on your desk so that your head isn’t cranked down.
2. Sit up straight
As important as it is to keep your neck straight, you should also ensure that your entire spine is straight. When you sit at your desk, place your lower back against the back of the chair, keep your back straight and your shoulders back, and place both feet flat on the floor.
3. Mind your head position on the phone
When you’re talking on the phone without earbuds, you may be leaning your neck to one side. Be conscious of holding your head in a straight position when you’re on the phone and maybe invest in the aforementioned earbuds.
4. Take frequent breaks
If you sit for long hours in front of a computer, phone, or TV, it’s important that you get up and move around regularly. It’s easy to get caught up in what you’re doing, so we suggest that you set a timer every hour to remind yourself to get up, walk around, and even perform a few stretches, which brings us to:
5. Stretch out your neck and spine
If you’re feeling strain in your neck, shoulders, and upper back, it’s important to stretch these areas. Throughout the day, look away from your screen and roll your head in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. You can also simply swivel your head from side to side.
We also advise that you take 15 minutes a day to perform a few simple stretches. To get you started, click here.
If you have more questions about ways you can avoid tech neck, please contact us by clicking on the “request appointment” button or by calling one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York.