Protect yourself from ‘text neck’

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Protect yourself from ‘text neck’

After 17 years, Sony is leaving the PC market. Instead, it will concentrate on tablets and smartphones as the market for these is expanding while the market for PCs shrinks.

So, more of us will move to smartphones and tablets and as our digital devices get smaller, the ergonomic problems they present get bigger.

‘Text neck’ is the latest name in the digital pain game – a curse for those of us who are incessantly peeking at our smartphones.

The condition occurs because the joints and tissue in the neck are not built to withstand being flexed for long periods, and spending hours peering down at a screen puts them under too much stress, according to Rachael Lancaster of Freedom Back Clinics.
But what to do?

1. Take breaks

Set time aside in every day when you will not, under any circumstances, look at your phone. Try alternating 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off. Or, only check your phone at the top of every hour, then put it away for the rest of the hour. Arrange this time so that it fits your schedule, but make sure you do it.

2. When you are on a ‘phone break’, spend the time looking up

Well, maybe not up at the sky, but at least not down at the floor as you would be doing if you were looking at your phone. Position your head on top of your spine and pull your chin in slightly, elongating the back of your neck.

3. Do some stretching while you are on a break

Try shoulder rolls with your arns down by your sides and your head up. Practise pulling your chin in and releasing it, repeat.

4. Do regular exercise

Regular exercise will help your body recover from the static positions you spend most of your time in. Even a brisk 20-minute walk – without your smartphone – will help.

Safe Hands will help you assess your current situation to uncover possible causes of discomfort or pain. We will suggest adjustments you can make to your behaviour and to all of your computer workspaces – at the office, at home and everywhere in between. Finally, we will talk to you about a range of factors that can contribute to the way you feel physically. Get in touch to find out more.