There is no denying that technology has transformed the way we live, and we are spending more and more time glued to our mobile devices. Australians spend 10 hours and 24 minutes on average engaging with their mobile devices every day (1). Within five minutes of waking up in the morning 35% of us check our phone, and 70% use phones during mealtimes with family and friends (2). This excessive reliance on digital device is taking a toll on our bodies. Looking down hunched over mobile devices puts excessive strain on the neck, which can cause neck pain. This is a very common complaint- in fact, the chance that you will have neck pain at some point in your lifetime is 50% (3).
More and more Australians are suffering from ‘text neck’- this refers to neck pain and damage from looking down at mobile devise for prolonged periods. Staring down at your phone can put immense pressure on your neck and spine.
There is no need to shun all technology. Changing a few habits can make a big difference in improving your spinal health and overall wellbeing. Here are some tips to help avoid text neck and other spinal health issues resulting from poor postures and excessive use of mobile devices:
- Change the way you hold your phone and bring the screen to eye level so your head is not slouched forward. This way you don’t have to be in a forward-head posture for long periods of time.
- Take a break à it may seem impossible to take long breaks from your mobile devices but start slowly, like vowing not to check your phone during commuting hours. You can also set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take a break and walk around.
- Get social and enlist some of your family members and friends and have a ‘no phone policy’ during dinner. You’ll enjoy your meal even more without the distraction!
#Chiro Can Help
Stretching can help alleviate neck pain and discomfort caused by text neck. It is important to seek advice from your Chiropractor about which stretching exercises are suitable for you.
Depending on your circumstances, your chiropractor may suggest a variety of techniques to improve range of motion and function. Your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of care, depending on your needs. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, a care plan may include mobilisations, massage, rehabilitation exercises as well as dietary and lifestyle advice.
(1)‘Australian consumers spending more than 10 hours of every day on their digital devices’, 2016, Ernst&Young, ey.com
(2)Mobile Consumer Survey 2017: The Australian Cut, Deloitte, http://www2.deloitte.com/au/mobile-consumer-survey
Chiropractic Association of Australia