The experts at Center for Spine and Orthopedics want you to focus on a healthy approach to spine health. We recognize how lifestyle and habits can impact spine health. Read below for a news article that explains how technological devices and their usage can affect spine and neck health and how you can prevent additional pain.
Many of us can cop to spending extended periods of time in front of our favorite electronic devices: desktop computers, cellphones, laptops. The average person spends two to four hours a day reading or texting on their smartphone. The term “tech neck” refers to neck soreness as a result of prolonged use, but it’s not limited to the neck (though neck pain is a commonly noted symptom). “Tech neck” can also impact other parts of the spine and body.
When we’re using our devices, our necks are generally bent forward. The average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position (ears centered over shoulders). One study has shown that weight on the spine increases when the neck is bent forward at varying degrees. Research indicates that as the head tilts forward, that weight can increase up to 60 pounds the more one is bent forward. Good posture allows for the least amount of strain being placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.
Here’s how to improve posture and lower the risk of developing tech neck:
- Keep screen at eye level or just below, and avoid continuously looking down for long periods.
- Hold your phone or tablet close to eye level to avoid holding the head forward.
- Consider using a tablet holder if your arms fatigue.
- Be aware of body positioning while sitting. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Sit in a chair with a head rest, which helps prevent us from looking down.
- Take frequent breaks. Try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes.
- Incorporate regular activity into your daily routine. Work on generalized strengthening and stretching.
You should see a health care provider if your pain is persisting or if you’re experiencing the following warning signs or “red flags” that require prompt, urgent medical attention.
We are always available at 303.287.2800.