What is Tech Neck and how do you avoid it?

If you’re reading this article on a laptop, phone or tablet, take a second to consider the position in which you are seated.

Is your head tilted forward, back arched or shoulders tight? Then it’s likely you’re at risk of developing a condition now commonly referred to as ‘Tech Neck’.

Tech Neck is a chronic pain caused by excessive exposure to our most cherished devices. When ignored, it can lead to muscle strain, disc injury, nerve issues or even dental problems.

With 50 per cent of Australians spending at least part of their working day seated, most people will be familiar with some level of screen induced discomfort. .

While maintaining a picture perfect posture for eight hours a day is unsustainable for most, there are a number of things you can do to limit the risk of Tech Neck.

How to avoid Tech Neck

  1. Yoga: Engaging in activities like yoga and Pilates is a great way to improve posture, strengthen the core and stretch the muscles that contract during lengthly stints on the computer. While regular practice is preferable, progress can be made by building a couple of key poses into your daily routine.
  2. Deskercise: Loosen up throughout the day by exercising at your desk. Download a simple deskercise guide from Pinterest and stick it to your office wall for accessible inspiration.
  3. Take breaks: The longer you stare at a screen, the greater the temptation to gravitate towards it. Taking frequent short breaks is one of the best ways to avoid Tech Neck. Make a cup of coffee, visit a colleague’s desk or go for a quick walk around the office – anything to separate you from your seat.
  4. Employ ergonomics: Set your workstation up correctly by placing your screen at eye level and adjusting your chair so that your back is supported and feet are on the floor. If your workplace has a sit-stand desk available, ask your employer if you can trial it.
  5. Listen to your body: While a slight twinge in your neck or discomfort in your shoulders may not seem like a big deal, it’s important to alleviate it before it develops into a bigger issue. If you’re experiencing pain on a regular basis, seek advice from your doctor or physiotherapist.