There are three behaviours concerning necks and the use of digital devices that I see all the time and marvel at why no one is worried about doing them.
Squeezing phone between shoulder and ear
This is the one that’s been around for so long, you’d think that there would be no one left who hadn’t heard how bad it is. Yet I still see it being done all the time.
The solution is simple: get a headset. If you are on the phone at work and especially if you are likely to continue typing or writing while you are on the phone, get a headset. Even if you are on the phone only occasionally, still get a headset. Never, ever squeeze the phone between your shoulder and ear. End of story.
Leaning in to look at computer screen
This is another one that’s pervasive in offices everywhere. We need to start sitting back in our chairs, and thinking about where our heads/necks are in relation to our spines.
If you are leaning in to see your computer screen, try pulling it closer to you, even a tiny bit may help. Get your eyes checked if the problem is really bad. But don’t do the ‘lean in’. Keep your head aligned on your spine and your shoulder blades against your chair back.
Smartphones, smartphones everywhere and not a neck is safe
We’re all on our smartphones all the time—on the train, walking down the street, waiting to pay at the coffee shop… We’ve got to start thinking about what all this looking down is doing to our necks and the knock on effect it is having on our backs and on the rest of our bodies.
The use of digital devices is not a passive activity. Sitting is not a passive activity. Your body has to work to do these things. Don’t make it work in the wrong way, overcompensating and accommodating for bad posture and misuse.
Over many years, decades even, we are damaging our necks, our backs, our whole bodies. Be mindful of how you use your body throughout your day—you could save yourself a big pain in the neck.