August 28th, 2020
Our bodies are not designed to be sedentary. Nor are they are designed to be bent or hunched over for extended periods. Yet that is exactly what happens to our body almost all day long, every day.
Thanks to the advancement of technology we can do almost everything we need from a computer or phone. With more time spent on our devices (you’re reading this on one right now), working from home in chairs or couches without proper support, and more and more time watching TV – it comes at a cost. Here we explain technology aka tech neck and the impact on your body:
Take a moment and think about your typical workday. Besides a couple of trips to the bathroom or the break room for coffee, you are probably seated in your desk chair staring at a computer screen for 7-8 hours a day. And then, after a long workday, you come home and want nothing more than to sit in front of the couch and catch up on your television shows or social media accounts on your phone or tablet and then you retire to your bedroom to lie down and go to sleep. We hope you fit a workout in there somewhere though of course…
A sedentary lifestyle can have a drastic negative influence on our overall health and body. From a broader perspective, we are burning fewer calories, which can lead to increased weight, we are losing muscle and bone strength, and our blood has more problems circulating.
These bigger issues can lead to tens if not hundreds of other issues such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, inflammation issues, weakened immune systems, eye strain, poor posture, and arthritis and joint issues to just name a few.
“Tech neck” is a relatively new term but refers to the idea that at almost all times you are working at a computer, looking down at your phone, or hunched over a tablet or other devices. Take a sec and mentally check your posture right now; you may need to hear it: sit up straighter.
Why? The muscles in the back of your neck have to contract to hold your head up and when you look down for long periods of time and these muscles have to work harder to keep your head up. This idea of “tech neck” results in stressed muscles, which in turn cause neck and shoulder pain as well as stiffness and soreness.
A worst-case scenario of tech neck can cause pressure on discs that can eventually bulge or rupture causing pinched nerves, which may need surgical treatment.
Virtually everyone is susceptible to suffering from tech neck when you spend a significant amount of time in front of a computer or on your phone. But how can the symptoms of “tech neck” be alleviated?
If you spend most of your time in front of your computer, it is essential to evaluate your space.
One of the easiest fixes is to make sure your computer is at eye level. If it is not, your neck is flexed the entire time. Raise your computer so your neck is in a neutral position.
It is also a good reminder that if you are using your phone or tablet for an extended amount of time to make sure to hold or position your device at eye level so you do not have to tilt your head or look down to view it.
Standing desks are becoming quite popular and that is due to the positive effects it has when in use. People that use standing desks overall show decreased less upper back and neck pain and felt more productive and focused. We use a standing desk here at the studio; highly recommend!
If your chair is too big it does not allow for proper seating posture. You will want to get a chair that has very good lumbar support. This will take the pressure off the neck muscles because you will not be learning forward causing strain.
If you cannot afford a new chair you can also use a pillow behind your back or a footstool for foot support. These are simple inexpensive ideas that can make a big difference.
Look no further than yourself! Make mental—and even physical notes—to remind yourself to get up and move.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up and stretch, take a quick lap around your home or office every hour, or take a walk outside during your breaks.
Let’s face it; computers and phones are not going away anytime soon. While no one wants to suffer from “tech neck” it seems almost inevitable. If you have tried to alleviate your symptoms through some of these DIY remedies and you are still experiencing pain, there is hope!
At Driven Fit, we offer a variety of programs and options that will allow your body to feel transformed, rejuvenated, and restored. We will work with you to create an individualized plan that can consist of massage therapy, chiropractic care, and personal training to focus on strengthening your neck and back muscles.
Call or text us today at 813-440-3016 and let us show you how to alleviate your neck pain and suffering!