Even though technology does indeed do a lot for us, there can be downsides. As well as potentially disrupting sleep and hindering relationships, looking at technology all day can be damaging to our health.
Health experts say our love of technology has resulted in a 60% rise in 16-34 year-olds with neck or back pain. This has been linked to prolonged periods of sitting down, often behind a screen.
While the sensible solution would be to reduce your screen-time, we all know this isn’t always an option. For example, if your job requires you to sit at a computer for eight hours a day – it can be difficult to avoid. If you’re in this situation, the following tips to avoid ‘tech neck’ (as it has been dubbed) may well help:
Adjust your computer height
If you are straining your neck forward to look at your screen, you’re more likely to feel pain. Lift your screen to eye level using a screen riser; this way you’ll be looking straight ahead, which will be easier on your neck.
Exercise your neck
Speak to a physiotherapist or chiropractor who could recommend some neck stretches. Stretching out your neck will stop the muscles from getting too tense and causing you pain.
Use a tablet holder
If you have a tablet, you may find you’re straining your neck as you are looking at it on a flat surface (like your lap). A tablet holder will help you keep the device at eye level and keep your neck happy.
The discs in your spine are made up mostly of water, so staying hydrated is important. Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day.
Sitting in one position for too long is bad news for your neck and back. Ensure you are shifting around in your chair often and get up for a walk when you can. When lunch time rolls around, take advantage and go for a walk – your body will thank you for it.