As technologies have advanced, so has our ways of doing work, communicating with others, our habits and past times. However, our handheld devices can cause injury to our spines if not used with care.
Did you know that bending your head to look at your phone can put up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine! A 2014 study in Surgical Technology International showed that even a 15-degree head tilt adds 27 pounds of pressure….And as we use our devices more and more these days, that stress adds up.
Here are some ways that you can prevent injury and stay pain-free!
Take a Break!
- Holding your phone for too long can strain the muscles in your shoulders, arms and fingers. Let your arms rest at your sides
- Remember to give your eyes a break too! Every 20 minutes allow your eyes to rest by looking at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds (the 20-20-20 rule.)
- Try not to sit for too long, get up and move around while doing the 20-20-20 rule.
- Try to lift your device to eye level in order to prevent a strain on your neck.
- Remember to stretch out! If you don’t know what stretches to do let us know and we can send you an info sheet!
For more information check out www.chiropractic.on.ca
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is posture important when using technology?
Good posture reduces the risk of chronic pain, especially in the neck, back, and shoulders. Prolonged tech use without proper posture can lead to musculoskeletal issues.
What is "tech neck"?
It’s a term for the forward head posture and hunched shoulders developed from looking down at devices for extended periods. This can strain the neck and upper back.
How can I avoid "tech neck"?
Raise your device to eye level, take frequent breaks, do neck stretches, and prop your device on a pillow or easel.
Are standing desks better for posture?
Standing desks can be beneficial for some people, but it’s essential to set them up correctly and to alternate between sitting and standing.
How should I position my computer monitor?
The top of the monitor should be at or just below eye level, and about an arm’s length away.
What's the best chair for maintaining good posture?
A chair with lumbar support, adjustable height, and that allows you to keep your feet flat on the ground with your knees at a 90-degree angle. If your feet can’t touch the ground when the chair is at the appropriate height for the desk, use an angled foot support or bench.
How often should I take breaks when working on a computer or using a device?
Ideally, every 30 minutes to an hour. Use this time to stretch and adjust your posture.
Are there any exercises to help with posture?
Yes, exercises like planks, bridges, and wall angels can strengthen the core and upper back, supporting better posture.
Is it bad to look down at my phone all the time?
Yes, constantly looking down at your phone can strain the neck and upper back. It’s best to hold the phone up at eye level.
How does posture affect overall health?
Poor posture can lead to chronic pain, reduced lung capacity, poor digestion, and even cardiovascular issues.
Are there any apps or gadgets that can help improve posture?
Yes, there are wearable devices and smartphone apps that can send reminders or alert users when they’re slouching.
Can children develop posture issues from using technology?
Yes, children can also be affected, especially because their bodies are still developing. It’s crucial to instil good posture habits early on.
How long does it take to correct poor posture?
The time varies for individuals and depends on the severity of the issue and consistency in corrective actions. It can range from a few weeks to several months or longer.
Can I use ergonomic accessories to help with posture?
Absolutely. Items like ergonomic keyboards, mouse pads, chairs, and monitor stands can aid in maintaining proper posture.
Is posture the only concern when using technology for extended periods?
No, other issues include eye strain, repetitive strain injuries, and the potential for decreased physical activity.