Smartphones haven’t been around very long, but they’ve already taken a toll on our physical well-being. There’s actually a name for the pain you get in your shoulders and neck when you’re using a smartphone: It’s known as “text neck.”
This ache occurs after you’ve hunched over your mobile device for a prolonged period of time. Our spines can get warped into highly unnatural positions when we use mobile devices a lot, and this can have long-lasting health consequences.
Here are a few ways to modify your smartphone usage with healthier behaviors and accessories.
Change your posture
Many people spend a lot of time looking down at their smartphones, which they usually hold at chest or lap level. This causes a curvature in the spine, since you tend to tuck your chin to view the touchscreen.
Instead of setting yourself up for text neck, hold your phone up to your face. This allows you to look at a phone with a straight back and neck.
The practice might improve your peripheral vision as well, since you’ll be able to see things that are happening at eye level without having to straighten your posture first.
How many times have you held your smartphone in an awkward position to watch videos or study data? Instead of extending your arm and tensing your shoulders for long periods of time, you should rest your phone on a stand instead.
A number of smartphone cases and accessories are available to serve this purpose. You can even invest in phone wall mounts that move your smartphone to eye level, so you don’t have to bend your neck at all.
This can alleviate tension in your neck and shoulder muscles.
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A bewildering array of companies manufacture and sell corded and wireless headsets designed for taking calls on smartphones. They often have call controls built in so you can answer, mute, and hang up while you’re on the go.
Headsets prevent you from having to balance a smartphone between your ear and shoulder, which can be extremely harmful to your shoulders and neck. Bluetooth headsets are even better for phone call ergonomics, since you can move your body naturally and adjust your posture during a discussion.
Save your body from text neck and start modifying your smartphone postures and behavior. A skilled chiropractor can also give you tips on how to change your tech habits to reduce pain.
Your mobile device use shouldn’t cause aches, pains, and poor posture problems.