Fitness · Health

‘Tech Neck,’ Premature Aging, and Poor Posture — A 21st Century Problem

Here are four steps to avoid ‘tech neck’ problems:

1. Lift your smart phone up to eye level. This one is obvious, but requires a great deal of self-awareness. We don’t consciously count how many times we look down at our phone. One way to help remind yourself to lift your phone up is to tie a color string around the wrist of the hand that you usually hold your phone with. Seeing the string on your wrist triggers your mind to remember to hold your phone up higher. Simple, and it works!

2. Type less; dictate more. Most smartphones are getting pretty good at taking verbal messages and notes. With an iPhone, you can just ask Siri to do it. Siri will also read new messages to you.  Android phones have a similar feature as well with Google Text-to-Speech app. This means you have to listen and talk, rather than look and type.

3. Strengthen your neck and supporting muscles. My favorite exercise to help correct ‘tech neck’ is the “Wall Neck Lean” (see image below). This is  a simple isometric exercise that brings stability and alignment to the back of your neck. Simply stand with your back against the wall, making sure the back of your head is straight. Then walk your feet away from the wall about a foot, moving your body forward as well, but leaving the back of your head leaning against the wall. Hold this position for one minute. Then walk your feet back to lift your head off and stand away. Your neck will feel lighter. Do this exercise twice a day.

4. Sit up straight and look up from your screen every five minutes. Whenever you are at a computer, use a lumbar support pillow for your lower back and remember to sit up straight. Also, set a timer on your phone to vibrate every five minutes to remind you to look up from your screen.

With awareness and the four steps outlined above, we can stave off ‘tech neck’ from becoming an ingrained part of our modern lifestyle, and enjoy balanced head posture and less creases on our neck.

1“Wall Neck Lean”

 

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  • Susanna Gaertner September 26, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks, Jonathan, this is one of the things I tell prospective Pilates students.

    Reply