March 12

What is “text neck” and what to do about it

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Are you reading this on either your phone, tablet, or laptop?

Of course, you are!

It’s time to do a quick check … Is your head tilted down in order to see?

If you spend a lot of time in this position (and who doesn’t these days?!), you are actually at risk for developing something called “text neck” – if you don’t already have it.

Text neck happens when you spend a lot of time with your head forward, shoulders rounded, and your back hunched. Many of us are in this position upwards of 4 to 5 hours a day!

Here’s what happens when you spend a lot of time in that position …

The muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the front of your neck/shoulders get compressed and tight – while the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the back of your neck and shoulders get long and overstretched.

You can see how over time, this can potentially cause imbalance, pain, and real problems.

Especially since for every inch your head juts forward, it puts an extra 10 lbs of pressure on your neck!

So … what can you do about it?

  1. Notice when you are in the “text neck” position.

Adjust your posture when you find yourself hunched over your phone or device, and bring your screen to eye level whenever possible.

  1. Intentionally step away from your device for several minutes.

Put it down and walk away! This also can help with mindfulness and relaxation.

If you’re working all day on your devices, set an alarm to get out of your chair at least once an hour to move your body and stretch out a bit.

  1. Do exercises to counteract text neck.

The goal is to do exercises that help restore balance to your muscles, restoring flexibility to tight muscles and strength to lengthened muscles.

That means core exercises like planks and glute bridges – and shying away from crunches, which can exacerbate text neck!

I hope this helps. A little mindfulness can go a really long way!


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