Technology has many benefits. Unfortunately, it also has detriments, including the condition known as "tech neck."
Here are some tips to prevent tech neck from happening to you.
1. Be Aware of the Tech Neck Problem
The act of holding your head flexed and forward while looking down places your cervical spine in a tenuous position. Repeated too frequently and over long periods of time can lead to muscular strain, disc injury, arthritic changes of the neck and lead to neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and symptoms down the arms. Understanding that poor posture while you are using handheld devices can create many unwanted health issues involving your cervical spine is critical to so that you can use tips 2-5 to keep safe.
2. Set Time Limits
Limit the amount of time and frequency that you use your device. If you have to use it for an extended period of time, take breaks. Develop a habit of taking a 3-minute break for every 15-20 minutes you use your device. Change your posture and move around. To facilitate this, utilize Tip #3.
3. Set Automatic Reminders
Utilize an automatic alarm with your smart device reminding you to take a time out. For those of you that have wearable devices these can be set to remind you to break, such as the iWatch which can tap you every 15-20 minutes.
4. Use a Tablet Holder
Purchase a holder to elevate your device to significantly reduce the amount of neck flexion and forward positioning. Try to keep the device as close to eye-level as possible. This is a great tool to reduce Tech Neck.
5. Take Action!
Use pain as a warning. If you are experiencing pain in your neck, between the shoulder blades, numbness or tingling in the arms, or frequent headaches there may be a more serious issue going on. If utilizing the above methods, and reducing overall handheld usage does not improve these symptoms, then it’s time to seek help.