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What the heck is Tech Neck?

07 August 2020

Have you ever heard of Tech Neck?

If you spend long hours on your laptop or on your phone and are experiencing pain in your neck, you probably have tech neck. In this article, we’ll be exploring the causes, symptoms and remedies to this modern ailment. 

What is Tech Neck?
If you’ve ever experienced aches and pains in your neck after using your phone or your laptop, chances are you’ve experienced tech neck. Tech neck isn’t a formal medical diagnosis but rather more of a modern day term to express the pain or discomfort that comes with using various forms of technology (i.e. your phone, laptop or your game console). Despite it’s catchy name however Tech Neck doesn’t just concern the pain in your neck, although it's the most common. Tech Neck is an overall term that can cover various aches and pains in your body such as your lower back and shoulders. What defines Tech Neck is that it’s caused by the strain of using technology.

While many are quick to point the finger to technology, Tech Neck isn’t an issue of too much screen time. Rather it’s an issue of posture, position and screen height. To fully understand just how Tech Neck is developed we have to see first how and why it’s so widespread and how you can be more mindful when it comes to spending long hours in front of the screen.

Let’s first look into the neck, given that that’s where Tech Neck truly gets its reputation from. Your neck or cervical spine is the most flexible part of your spine, while this allows you to move better, it’s that same flexibility that makes it more prone to injury and damage. Tech Neck develops when you’re peering down on your screen too often. The pain develops because as you lean your head forward, the weight of your head places strain on your neck. While leaning forward and peering down isn’t exactly damaging, what makes Tech Neck develop is the prolonged time spent in the wrong position. Try adjusting your screen height to avoid placing your neck at risk for that unwanted neck pain.

Back and shoulder pain and headaches are other related symptoms to Tech Neck. It’s suggested that should you be experiencing Tech Neck, chances are you may be experiencing pain in these areas as well. All in all this has more to do with the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle than the adverse use of technology. Basically what that implies is that when you don’t move enough and leave your body at an uncomfortable position, you develop pain. Back and shoulder pain is most likely caused by the strain that you place on your body. Leaning slumped and overextended places more pressure on your lower back and shoulders. Lack of movement also limits blood flow throughout your body and can cause headaches. To avoid these aches and pains, try stretching throughout the day and be mindful of your posture.

What Can You Do?

Now that we’ve covered exactly what Tech Neck is and have explored some ways to help ease it, let’s look into some long term solutions that can help you both avoid and relieve Tech Neck.  

Find the Right Posture
As mentioned earlier a lot of what makes Tech Neck such a common problem for most individuals is the fact that strain due to bad positions and posture causes strain and eventual pain. This is why it’s so important to find the right posture or position for you. The ideal screen height and distance is dependent on the correlation between a person’s own height and their screen. If you’re not sure what works best for you, check out this Ergonomic Calculator. Simply input your height and the calculator will compute the most ideal desk height and screen distance for both your standing position and your sitting position.

Find the Right Equipment
While knowing what position is most ideal for you is an important way to avoid Tech Neck, finding the right equipment is just as important. Try looking into ergonomic accessories and desks to help relieve and avoid tech neck. Ergonomic products are designed to provide support and stability for your neck and back. Products like FlexiSpot’s Ergonomic Office Chair OC3B provide complete back support and help ensure that you are both comfortable and stable. Another great thing to look into are Standing Desk Converters that allow you to easily switch between standing and sitting positions. This is a great way to combat the sedentary lifestyle and helps not only fight against Tech Neck but is also an easy way to improve posture, focus and energy levels.  

When it comes to avoiding Tech Neck, always remember that it’s all about finding the things that work for you and your body. For more tips on lifestyle and simple life hacks, feel free to visit the FlexiWellness Center for more!