How to avoid "text neck"

April 17, 2020 | by Carly Caponigro
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

The average adult is spending about 15 hours per day in front of a screen, according to a study by University of California San Francisco.  That number could be even higher now that we’re all under stay-at-home orders.

Whether we’re in front of our TV, smartphones or computers as we work from home, the significant increase in screen time has correlated directly with our overall musculoskeletal health.

Many of us suffer from neck, shoulder and back pain, but these daily discomforts are accepted as a normal part of life. Much of this pain can be decreased with regular exercises and a few minor lifestyle modifications:

  • Adjust the height of your screen so it’s at eye level. This improves your neck and shoulder posture, so you aren’t hunched over. Propping a pillow under your arms while scrolling through your phone or raising the height of your desktop monitor are easy ways to make adjustments.
  • Swap your current chair for one with good lumbar support. If this isn’t an option for you, then try supporting your low back with a small pillow or a rolled-up towel. Propping up the back takes away the lumbar pain we experience from sitting for many hours.
  • Take a break. Often we get lost in our work and don’t notice our posture shift over time. Set a timer for yourself to get up and walk around. Incorporate exercises that involve stretching your neck, squeezing your shoulder blades and loosening the muscles overall.

With time and consistency you should notice a decrease in aches and pain, and your spine will thank you later. It’s important to note that if pain gets worse or starts having a negative effect on your daily life, it is best to consult your primary healthcare provider.

Learn exercises you can do to stay active at home.

For updates on our planning and response efforts as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19, please check EEHealth.org/coronavirus.

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