How to avoid getting ’text neck’
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