Do you suffer from ‘tech neck’? I bet without even explaining what that is, most of you immediately thought YES when you read that, right?
Renowned postural structural specialist Michelle Owen was interviewed in Mindfood Magazine this month saying every 10 degrees you look down with your head doubles the weight on your neck – from five kilograms when looking straight ahead, to 50 kilograms when looking down at your computer!
But what does that mean for you? Basically, looking down so often throughout the day – when you type, text, write, check instagram, or surf the net on a tablet – is causing serious issues way earlier than ever before and to avoid chronic pain settling into your life, posture needs to become a priority.
Here are a few tips Owen suggested to improve the situation day-to-day and if you’re local to Sydney and want to get checked out properly by a pro, we’ve suggested our favourite practitioners at the bottom of this article.
Michelle Owens’ Top Tips – Back to Basics
Learn to touch type
This is one of the most important things you can do for your neck health. No matter how well adjusted your screen is, even if you were rocking a stand-up desk, if you have to keep your eyes on the keyboard it’s not going to make much of a difference.
Raise your screen height to eye level
Try not to hunch over your laptop at a café too often and again, make sure you can touch type!
If you are a laptop-at-café addict… bring a portable Bluetooth keyboard/mouse with you and if you’re sitting with your lappy for more than 10 minutes, raise it up on a box to eye height and use those portable tools! Lots of brands make roll-up keyboards and wireless mice now and they’re not as hard to stash in your bag as you might think.
Stand up every 20-30 minutes
Set an alarm, use a fit tracker with a built-in buzzer, or just change your habits – tell your colleagues you now only do walking meetings, or just stand up and walk around the office every time you speak on the phone.
Clear the chemicals
According to Owen, daily pain produces chemicals that produce more pain. Exercise helps to clear these, so getting your heart rate up can really help in your quest to feel pain free. The catch? It needs to be relatively high intensity so your heart rate rises.
Love your tablet? Use a case to prop it up!
A tablet that props up your device at a comfortable viewing angle rather than looking down at it in your lap is really helpful.
Cut down on text/social media time from your phone
All that time editing and uploading to Instagram may be fun but it’s probably not the best thing to be doing every day, twice a day for your neck health. If you ever needed a good excuse to get off social media, or at least wind down your screen time… this is it 😉
A few of our fave health care gurus to help you get on top of your neck pain:
Health Space for ongoing care from a range of amazing Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Massage Therapists and other therapists from multiple disciplines, across various locations. All the Health Space crew are incredibly experienced professionals who are passionate about movement and health.
Chirosports Coogee another great group of experts to manage your spinal health for the long term, we recommend the lovely Erin Hawken (an Agogian herself).