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Understanding & Preventing Tech Neck

01 August 2023

With a brand new digital age comes a brand new set of problems. Between all your important texts and emails and checking for updates on social media, it may feel like you spend most of your day looking at a screen - and you wouldn't be wrong!

In fact, a large percentage of the day is spent hunched over your phone or computer, and this can have a very unfortunate consequence: tech neck.

Aptly named, this is a condition that can lead to a number of health problems if not managed properly. Understanding and preventing tech neck can help with avoiding these problems and keep you safe in the future.

What is Tech Neck?

Tech neck is also called text neck, sometimes, and is the term used to refer to strain and injury caused to the muscles and tissues of the cervical spine. Tech neck on its own is an old issue, but with how common it's become lately - largely due to technology - perhaps a renaming is a good idea.

Tech neck is generally considered to involve discomfort and ache in the lower neck, shoulders and upper back area, and this can often become worse over time. Sometimes, there may be sharp pain in one spot, rather than a generalized ache over the whole area.

Tech neck can also cause headaches and can make the muscles stiff, which can reduce mobility and cause pain when moving the head around.

While it starts off as muscle stiffness and tension, it can easily progress and become worse. It can decondition the muscles over time and make it difficult to maintain good posture, and in some cases, even cause nerve impingement, which can be very painful.

A large part of tech neck has to do with the weight of your head. The average adult head is about 10 pounds in weight, and is supported by the bones, ligaments and tendons in your neck. However, when you look down, the force that is placed on these structures becomes up to 6 times greater.

While your neck is still capable of carrying this weight, it is not designed to do so for longer stretches of time. This can put strain on the muscles and ligaments and thus give rise to the problem of tech neck.

How to Prevent Tech Neck

While tech neck can quickly become a serious problem, it is not completely unavoidable. In fact, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself from developing the condition, though it does require a bit of effort on your part. Most times, we are not thinking about how we are holding our heads, so staying alert is necessary.



Stretching

Stretching is very important to prevent any sort of muscular problems throughout the day. Not just your neck, but also other parts of your body require stretches to relieve tension and improve blood flow.

When it comes to preventing tech neck, stretching your neck muscles from time to time is a great way of preventing them from being held in one strained position for too long. Neck exercises are very easy to do, and you can do them while sitting in your seat as well.



Use a Chair With a Headrest

To reduce the amount of force being exerted on your neck, you can use a chair with a head rest. The back of your head should stay in contact with the headrest, which can be a great way to just keep your head supported while you work, without putting extra force on your neck muscles.

It's also a great way to make sure that your head doesn't end up lolling forward. Because the strain on your neck comes from keeping your head bent forward, a headrest can prevent this and make sure you are kept safe.



Spread Out Screen Time

If you have tasks that don't require the use of a computer, opt for spacing out how often you use the screen during the day. This means that instead of cramming all your computer related work into the same couple of hours, choose to spread them out so you don't end up getting many consecutive hours of screen time.

You can do this by setting alarms to remind yourself to take breaks, or simply order your tasks in a way that your computer time is interrupted by other tasks.



Good Posture

Most of us don't actually take care of or pay attention to our posture while we are working. Having and maintaining good posture is difficult, especially if you are not in the habit of doing so already. Good posture includes everything from the position of your head to making sure you have adequate lumbar support and where your feet are.

Tech neck and other problems related to digital items are largely due to the fact that we do not make sure to hold our bodies in the right way while we work. Keeping good posture is thus very important in protecting ourselves from health problems.

There are plenty of ways to make sure your posture is correct. For one thing, the internet is full of resources, but you can also get yourself a posture app that can detect your posture and alert you if you are doing something wrong. Some apps will also provide you with a step-by-step of various exercises you can do to make it easier to hold good posture.



Keep Your Monitor At Eye Level

A great way to reduce tech neck is to keep your monitor at eye level. Since tech neck is caused by looking down, the easiest way to avoid it is to just not look down.

As it is, the idea setup for your computer is that your monitor should be at eye level, at about one arm's distance away from you. This can be tricky to do when you are working on a laptop, but investing in peripherals can help maintain the correct neck, arms and back posture to keep all of these body parts safe.

For this, it may be a good idea to invest in a standing desk that can prevent other health problems as well, but if you already have a desk, replacing it can be difficult. Fortunately, a monitor mount can do the same task with just as much ease.



FlexiSpot Single Monitor Mount

If you're looking for a good monitor mount for your workspace, FlexiSpot's Single Monitor Mount is your best bet.

This monitor mount comes with a fully adjustable arm that lets you rotate, extend, tilt or swivel the monitor with as much as a light touch, so you don't have to do anything special to get your screen to where you want it to be. All you have to do is push it in the right direction and it'll get there.

This monitor mount comes with a 360 degree rotation, which is useful when you have to work with things that look better with different orientations. It can also help with collaborative work, such as showing a colleague what you're working on for team input. It can also help with fixing the angle to be able to see the screen better depending on your sitting position.

The FlexiSpot Single Monitor Mount also comes with a cordless desktop option by incorporating a cable management system which makes it easier to keep your wires and cords under your control and make your workspace look less messy and cluttered. This way you get to work a lot more productively than you would otherwise.

This monitor mount is also very easy to install. You can use the C-clamp option, or the grommet option, depending on whichever works for you. All it takes is a few minutes to set up your monitor mount so you can start using it for work pretty much immediately.

The mount also has a fairly high loading capacity. It can hold up larger monitors with heavier weights, which helps in workspaces where larger monitors allow you to work productively and ergonomically. The screen size range is fairly wide, and so is the weight capacity.

The frame of the mount is made of aircraft-grade material, so you don't have to worry about your equipment falling over in the middle of your work and possibly destroying your desk with it.

All-in-all, a monitor mount is an excellent investment for any home or office workspace, and is definitely one you should consider getting if you're looking to enhance your workspace productivity while protecting yourself from tech neck.