How to avoid get­ting ’text neck’

Central Leader - - HEALTH& WELL-BEING -

Poor pos­ture from star­ing at your smart­phone, or ‘text neck’ as it’s some­times known, is dam­ag­ing your spine ac­cord­ing to re­search pub­lished in Sur­gi­cal Tech­nol­ogy In­ter­na­tional.

The re­search pub­lished by Dr Ken­neth Han­sraj shows as the neck bends for­ward and down, the weight on the cer­vi­cal spine be­gins to in­crease.

Phys­io­ther­apy New Zealand Pres­i­dent Ian d’Young says imag­in­ing more than 25kg hang­ing around your neck is a pow­er­ful ex­am­ple of how much stress you could be putting on your spine with poor pos­ture.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant that we ed­u­cate peo­ple, and par­tic­u­larly chil­dren, about how to cor­rectly use th­ese de­vices. It’s not about ditch­ing tech­nol­ogy, it’s about mak­ing sure that we are us­ing it in a way that’s not go­ing to set us up for long term health prob­lems.’’ Tips for avoid­ing ‘text neck’ 1. Check your pos­ture at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals through­out the day and ad­just (there’s even smart­phone apps that will re­mind you to check your pos­ture).

2. Take fre­quent, reg­u­lar breaks. Try tak­ing a break ev­ery 20 min­utes by stand­ing up or even go­ing for a short walk. 3. Sit up straight when you’re us­ing a de­vice. 4. Hold up the de­vice a lit­tle higher so your neck is not on an an­gle and look down with your eyes rather than your neck.

5. Stretch – if you’re us­ing de­vices for longer pe­ri­ods of time then try and take reg­u­lar stretches to break up the time.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.phys­io­ther­apy.org.nz

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