Do me a favor and close your eyes after reading this paragraph. Feel the area in your upper back as well as the back of your neck. Does it feel tight or strained? Now raise your head until you are looking straight ahead. Does that feel better?
Whether you are reading this on a smartphone, tablet or the screen of your desktop computer, odds are you are putting needless pressure on your neck by looking down. In recent years we have seen an increase in patients with neck issues and mobile technology is to blame, as we all have a tendency to hold our device low and look down.
Even when not on a phone or tablet, many suffer from poor posture on an old fashioned computer. Laptops are the worst as the keyboard and the screen are attached to each other in a small area. That means while using them you are hunched over with your shoulders rounded forward and your neck angled down. If you have children that use their laptop on the bed or couch, perhaps even while seated cross-legged, you can see how rounded their entire body is. Hours of this poor posture per day accumulated over the years can lead to serious health issues.
The key is to actively work on good posture while using technology. If you are using a phone or tablet, use your arms to elevate your device up to your eyes, so you are looking at them head-on, as you would do while watching television. If you use a laptop computer try to minimize your time using the device. If your laptop is also your desk computer, invest in a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor. Now you can spread your workstation out in way that allows you to maintain proper posture.
If you need further motivation to follow these steps, read up on our prior posts on the dangers of poor posture. For more customized solutions, ask one of our therapists in the office.