You likely won’t be surprised to read that the amount of time people spend using consumer technology devices has grown considerably over the last couple of decades. But how much? These days, the average U.S. consumer spends five hours per day using mobile devices.
And don’t blame it all on the kids. Parents devote an average of almost 9.5 hours each day to using various types of screens.
Long hours spent staring at a screen can cause a variety of health problems. We at McGowan Medical Centers want to talk about that so-called “tech neck” pain and how you can find relief.
Whether you spend your day looking down at a smartphone screen or staring straight ahead at a desktop monitor, these four ways to alleviate your tech neck pain will benefit you.
Taking short breaks from technology can help your neck recover. Even if you spend all day using a computer at work, taking a three-minute break every 20 minutes will reduce tech neck pain.
If you find it hard to keep track of time while using devices, set a notification that will tell you when to take a break. You can use the alarm app on your phone or a Pomodoro timer to your web browser. An alert will make sure you don’t get too caught up in your screen time.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on ergonomic chairs, desks, and other equipment to avoid neck pain. You should, however, follow good ergonomics when you know that you’ll spend more than half an hour at your desk.
Some key steps for improving your ergonomics include:
If these ergonomic tips don’t work for you, Dr. McGowan can show you how to adjust your office space for maximum comfort.
The average American spends about 12 hours per day sitting. Break that habit by getting out of your chair and moving.
If you’re at work, use your break to walk around the building. If you’re watching TV at home, use commercial breaks as opportunities to stand, walk, or stretch.
Stretching your muscles can do wonders for tech neck. You’ll decrease any pain you feel, prevent future injuries, and improve your muscles.
Some stretches that help prevent tech neck include:
Ideally, you should do each of these exercises five times per day.
You can also join a Pilates or yoga class that will improve your overall flexibility. Tell your instructor that you’re concerned about tech neck so that he or she can include the right exercises.
Many people have problems with tech neck. If you feel discomfort in your neck and shoulders, call or send us a message at McGowan Medical Centers. Dr. McGowan or one of our other doctors will diagnose your condition and recommend other treatments to keep you comfortable. You might not be able to stop using your devices, but you can learn effective ways to manage tech neck.