Some 83 percent of American adults own cell phones, and three-quarters of them send and receive text messages. Text messaging users send or receive an average of 41.5 messages per day, with the median user sending or receiving 10 texts daily. As technology advances, allowing us to do more tasks on smaller equipment, our bodies often pay the price. With a growing potential for injuries from tools we rely on, it’s a good time to learn how to minimize the risks. One problem that is becoming more and more prevalent is neck strain from the overuse of these mobile devices, or “text neck.”
What Causes Text Neck?
Text neck is caused by poor posture when using a mobile device. It’s all too common to become hunched over with your head drooping forward and your shoulders rounded as you become engrossed in messaging, games and social media.
How to Avoid Text Neck
Sit up straight with your chest out and your shoulders back.
Bring your arms up in front of your eyes so that you don’t need to look down to see the screen.
Tuck your chin into your chest to look down rather than dropping your head forward.
If you must use your mobile device for lengthy typing, invest in an external keyboard.
Rest your forearms on a pillow while typing to help minimize neck tension.
Avoid using mobile devices while in bright sunlight. Straining to see the screen leads to jutting the chin forward, shifting work from the spine to the muscles that hold up the head.
Avoid looking at your phone for long periods of time while traveling in the car.
The best way to avoid text neck is to limit the use of your mobile device. If you need to send an e-mail, wait until you have access to a computer. If you need to share some information, call the person rather than texting them.
If you find yourself aching despite your best efforts, give us a call at (252) 636-2900. We can treat your pain and teach you ways to improve your posture.