So what’s the correlation between Millennials and Text Neck?
This is the Digital Age of the 21st
Without my mobile phone, I can’t contact my friends, be up-to-date with my local and international news (via news apps), get my daily dose of celebrity gossips and memes (Twitter, Facebook), see what my friends are doing (Instagram) or find out the answer to a completely weird and random question that someone else has asked about (Google).
As millennials, I think we tend to be on our phones a lot, and the action of looking down at our phones puts a strain on our necks, which can lead to various aches and pains. The result of that is called the Text Neck Syndrome.
Because your neck and/or spine holds the weight of your head (which is actually quite heavy), when you bend your neck, it actually causes more weight to be placed on your spine!
You might think, “My neck just gets slightly achy after a while, that’s all! It’s not that bad!”
WELL, YOU ARE WRONG. Text Neck is the result of poor posture. Our neck and/or spine is built to be straight naturally and hence, having a bent-over neck puts our body in an abnormal position. If you are still not convinced, here’s a list of the side effects:
- Muscle strain and tightness in shoulders and neck
- Pinched nerves in shoulders and neck
- Upper back pain
- Herniated disks
- Early wear-and-tear on the spine
- Arthritis in the neck
- Reduced lung capacity
Of course, these side effects will only escalate and get worse as we grow older and leave it untreated. While we’re still young(er), it is important to take care and preserve our bodies with the youth we have left!
Are you convinced by the reality of Text Neck yet? I sure hope so! If you are, here are some ways that you can make that lifestyle change and do your neck a favour!
1. Take some time to look at your surroundings
Alright, I understand the part where the phone is used as a time-filler or when you’re in awkward social situations, but it is perfectly normal to do nothing (on your phone) and just looking around!
I try to make this a conscious effort too! This includes observing people around me, looking at what people are wearing (because I’m terrible at matching clothes, not because I’m judging. Ok fine maybe sometimes), looking at my surroundings or leeching off other people’s entertainment while they watch their shows.
2. Proper posture when using electronic devices
When using electronic devices, ensure that they are at eye-level to ensure your neck is in its natural position and isn’t subjected to excess pressure. This includes your mobile phone, laptops, tablets and all other electronic devices! When using your phone, hold it up to eye level so that your neck is not bent over and applying additional pressure on your spine.
Likewise, for laptops and tablets, ensure that they are at eye-level. For working adults, the majority of our time is spent in the office looking at our laptops, which is about 8 hours a day. By propping up our laptops to eye-level, we will be doing our necks a great help!
Also, the best posture to have when sitting in your chair is to have both feet flat on the ground!
If for whatever reason you’re unable to have your devices at eye-level or you’re subjected to Text Neck without a choice, STRETCH!!!! Stretching seems to be the solution to every body problem and that is not an overstatement. (If you haven’t read our last article on Fascia and how stretching works, don’t miss out and read it here!)
Stretching helps to loosen up your tight muscles and release any tension in the area too. Even as you’re doing your work, remember to take breaks in between to stretch and give your eyes a break!
In this day and age, the phrase “disconnect to reconnect” has never been truer! If you know you’re guilty of Text Neck, I hope this article has successfully convinced you to make a lifestyle change. Without proper care for our bodies, growing older will probably be tougher than it already is. Now that you know how detrimental Text Neck can be, help your friends out and share this with them too!