Q: What is Tech Neck and how can you combat it?

A: Tech Neck is the overuse of the muscles that support the head, neck and shoulders due looking forward and downward at any hand held device (i.e. phone, video game unit) or computer.  Tech neck started to be an issue with the introduction of computers, but with the greater use and prolonged use of hand held devices it has become a greater issue for all.  Today, it is also referred to as Text Neck.

As of 2014, Americans spend on average 3 hours and 17 minutes a day on non-voice activities on hand held devices.  When the neck is at a 45 degree angle, the combination of the angle and the weight of your head results in the neck muscles being under a 50 lb load.  As you can guess, this stress can lead to headaches, neck pain, shoulder or arm pain, and potential long term spinal cord issues.

How can you combat Tech Neck?

  • Limit the amount of time and frequency looking at the hand held device or computer.
  • If you can’t limit your time, take breaks to relieve the stress.
  • Practice good posture.  Configure your work station to support good posture when looking at a computer or hold the hand held device at eye level.
  • Strength train the whole body to help your body mange the stress and load placed on muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders.

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