Did you know, the average American spends more than 9 hours a day staring at some type of screen? It could be a smartphone, TV or computer, but most Americans are spending more than a normal full-time shift at work staring at a screen. Even young children don’t avoid this as they spend at least two hours staring at screens and that number only increased as they get older.
How Screen Staring Impacts Your Spine
As you’re staring down at your phone, tablet or computer, you are putting more weight on the cervical spine. The average human head weighs 12 pounds. Even just a small tilt to send a text message will increase the amount of that weight being supported by your cervical spine. The more you tilt, the worse it gets.
This posture is causing more people to suffer from strain throughout the shoulders and the neck. Many chiropractors are calling this “tech neck” because it’s caused by technology. The hunched over posture may cause knots in the shoulders and neck, but it could also cause disc damage or a pinched nerve.
Can you Prevent Tech Neck?
In a world where phones are attached to most people and computers are vital for most to function at work, is it possible to prevent tech neck? The answer is yes, but it’s not so easy.
The easiest way to prevent tech neck is to spend less time in front of screens. However, this isn’t possible for some, as those working in front of a computer all day will not be able to reduce their screen time much.
You can start by replacing your laptop at meetings with a notebook. This is a pretty easy change and some of the easiest changes can be found in your home. Instead of scrolling through social media while watching TV or spending time with your family, become more present at the moment and put the phone away.
You can also limit your time in front of the TV and computer at home. Choose an amount of time you will spend with your devices every day at home, set a timer and when that time is gone, put them away for good. Read a book, play a game, go outside or do anything that gets you away from screens.
You only get 24 hours per day. If you spend more than 9 hours in front of a screen and another 8 hours sleeping, you only have 7 hours left. About half that time is likely spent getting ready for work, eating meals or preparing meals. That doesn’t leave much left.
Chiropractic Options for Tech Neck
While the best solution is to avoid screens or limit your time in front of them, you can also seek out chiropractic care for tech neck. With the right approach, you can find relief and get back your good posture.