by Rachel W. / May 06, 2021

HIGH TECH DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A PAIN IN THE NECK

Two people's hands with laptops

As we keep progressing into the world of technology, electronic devices become more of a pain in the neck than ever before…literally. Electronics + sedentary lifestyles (most which are hard to avoid with modern-day jobs) make up the dreaded duo.

Extended lengths of this combination oftentimes leads to physical pain such as tension headaches, eye strain, lower-back pain, and neck pain, also commonly known as “text neck”. The phrase may be cute and catchy, but it’s anything but. According to experts, our neck muscles are only meant to hold up the weight of our heads, which is about 10 to 12 pounds. But for every inch you drop your head forward, you are doubling the weight for those muscles to hold. That means the text neck position can easily add about 60 extra pounds of weight your neck needs to hold. MIND. BLOWN.

Technology is obviously not going away anytime soon (and I wouldn’t want it to), so the best thing we can do is to adapt. Below are some tips to help alleviate tech-related pain so you can have the best of both worlds!


GET UP AND GET MOVING

This is something I do quite often, not because I remember to but because my tiny bladder always reminds me to get up and go. Whether you're getting up to use the restroom, touch your toes, walk around the room, or even have a quick mini dance party. Anything that gets you up and moving every 30 minutes or so is beneficial and helps pump the freshest blood and oxygen through our bodies.


SIT UPRIGHT

Ever thought about getting a workout in while sitting down in front of your computer? Well, do I have news for you! You can get a mini ab workout just by sitting up straight. Try to roll your shoulders back, sit with your back against your chair, and engage that core.


SWITCH UP POSITIONS

I don’t know about you but I get super antsy after sitting for a long time. A good way to combat this is by changing positions every once in a while. One thing we have in our office (that I don't use nearly enough) is a standing desk. I’m actually writing this blog right now while standing up! If you don't have one already, I would seriously consider looking into getting one.


THE 20-20-20 RULE

This is something I do all the time (probably too often) without even realizing it. Sitting in front of a computer all day can be exhausting, but who says your eyes have to be glued to the screen? Try looking at something that’s 20ish feet away, every 20 minutes, for at least 20 seconds. I guarantee you will start to notice new things around you every day. As Rafiki in the Lion King says, “Look beyond what you see.


HOLD YOUR PHONE LIKE YOU'RE TAKING A SELFIE

Another way to protect against text neck is by holding your phone out in front of your face so that your head is sitting squarely on your shoulders. Personally, I feel like this method might be a bit challenging if your arms are made of wet noodles like mine are. Despite my weak arms, I am willing to try this technique for as long as I can. I’ll keep this one in mind the next time I’m thinking about skipping arm day.


TECH-FREE QUALITY TIME

It’s practically second nature for me to grab my phone during lunch break and scroll through social media mindlessly for some “downtime.” I’ve realized that I can eat an entire meal without even tasting my food because I’ve become so immersed in the latest TikTok trend. Don’t be like me and have lunch break daily with my phone superglued to my hand. Instead, try a more relaxing tech-free meal here and there so that you can mindfully enjoy your surroundings and the yummy food in front of you. I’m definitely going to take my own advice and designate some tech-free time during my upcoming lunches!