The term 'tech neck' has come from the sheer amount of time that we spend looking at our phones, or at laptops / computers. Such is today's lifestyle that we spend hour after hour looking at technology and the fallout from looking down at these devices is soreness or tightness in your neck, shoulders and / or back.
You might have that tech neck is worse if you work at computers for most of the day which let's face it, is a large majority of us! Tech neck can cause a range of symptoms, such as headaches, pain in your neck or shoulders and tingling in your hands. More generally, spending significant amounts of time looking down at your phone or sitting at a computer can also affect your posture, due a change in the length of muscles in your neck and chest.
Some of these symptoms may seem really worrying, but taking control of the amount of time you spend looking at devices can improve the affects of tech neck. In addition, you should be mindful of your posture throughout the day - it's so easy for us to slump forward in our chairs or lean forward because we find it more comfortable (because our body is now conditioned to feel comfortable in that position) but correcting your posture could be really valuable to feeling better in your body.
There are some really easy things you can do to start to alleviate tech neck:
Hold your phone at eye level - this will prevent you from looking down and also strengthen your arm muscles (win win!)
Reposition your computer screen so you look straight at it, instead of looking down. You can also prop up your laptop to achieve the same goal.
Make sure your chair is set up right - have a proper desk chair and don't just sit on a dining chair or bar stool. They are not designed for long periods of sitting at a desk!
Ironically and obviously, I am writing this blog on my laptop and I can't deny that I do sometimes feel that ache in my neck and shoulders. Do you know how I resolve it and keep it at bay? Pilates of course!
That's why I have created a range of videos called the 'Tech Neck Series'. Short videos that you can complete at your desk or at lunchtime to keep the body moving and help reduce stiffness and aching. The videos target different areas of the body: neck, wrists, shoulders and back. If you want to stretch all of those areas in one routine, there is also a a video that incorporates all of this together.
You can find the links to the videos below, on The Wellbeing Shed Youtube Channel. Incorporate these routines into your daily life and these will help to alleviate the symptoms of tech neck and help to keep your posture strong!