Text Neck is a postural problem caused by a person who has hunched over his mobile or a computer screen for long periods. In all likelihood, you’re reading this on a computer, laptop, or mobile device bent over. For the rest of this post, sit up straight. Take a look around you right now if you’re in a public place. How many people are using their cell phones? Look carefully, and you’ll notice that they’re craning their necks to check out their phones. While using your phone in this way may appear casual now, doing so for long periods significantly impacts your health and posture. Your head may remain in a forward-head posture position for the rest of your life.
Because one of the most common reasons is due to look down at your phone for lengthy periods, this posture has been dubbed the “text” neck (or computer neck). Have no fear if you believe you have this kind of posture! This article will explain how text neck occurs and, more importantly, how to correct your head posture. After that, we’ll go over some preventative measures and methods to prevent it from recurring in the future.
The Epidemic of ‘Text Neck Syndrome’
The average head of a human weighs around 10 to 12 pounds, which is significantly more than one would assume. While this is all wonderful if you’re sitting up straight with your head neatly positioned above the spine, it’s a completely different story when you lean your head forward. With each inch, your head moving down adds 10 pounds of force to your neck and spine.
The stooped head posture, which was formerly only seen in the elderly, is now becoming more common among younger generations as a result of the rise in mobile usage and the widespread integration of technology into our daily lives. The term “text neck” is increasingly being used to describe this form of posture, although it’s referred to as forward head posture by scientists.
Causes and Consequences of Text Neck
Text neck has specific indicators that can be detected.
Bad Posture, Aches, and Pain
We’ve already discussed how frequently looking down at your phone puts a lot of strain on your back. The spine’s top may begin to show a curve as your head moves forward to compensate for the additional strain. Putting your back under this kind of stress for lengthy amounts of time might result in a lot of neck discomfort and pains. Your body will also get used to this ‘new’ posture that it is constantly in.
The new posture is known as the “forward head posture” stance. Rounded shoulders and a hunched posture occur with this forward head posture. You may notice that your chest feels tight as it shrinks from all the hunching over. This can cause further shoulder discomfort and pain. Furthermore, chronic tightness might result in headaches and undesirable muscular tension.
All of these muscles and structural imbalances have various ramifications. The first symptom is that you will not feel well, and as time goes on, it will only get worse if left alone. You’ll also lose mobility in your neck and upper body. Second, your posture’s reach extends beyond your physical appearance: It has an impact on your mind as well.
Posture & Mood
Several studies and tests have established a clear relationship between your posture and your feelings. When we’re sad or frightened, we slouch. When we’ve given up, we slump. Slouching, also known as the “text neck” posture, has been linked to a similar postural tendency that clinically depressed individuals tend to take. Individuals with major depressive disorders exhibit bodily posture changes in a 2010 research.
They discovered that the people generally had their necks angled down and their shoulders drooping forward in what appeared to be a submissive posture. We are enslaved by modern technology, which controls how we sit and what goes on in our minds. It also seems that the size of the gadget has a direct impact on your actions. In this study, participants were randomly assigned one of four different-sized electronic devices to interact with.
After the study was completed, it became clear that people who used smaller devices (iPods) were less aggressive than those who used MacBooks. The smaller device users frequently delayed longer before interrupting the experimenter, who had made them wait if they did not immediately interrupt the experimenter.
Poor posture might result in emotional states changing
You now know that a person’s posture conveys their emotions, confidence, and self-esteem. However, it doesn’t end there; posture can also have an impact on your emotional state. In another experiment, non-depressed persons were put in either an upright or slumped posture while completing a mock job interview and some true stress causes.
The researchers discovered that slouchers had far more fear, low self-esteem, and confidence than those who sat upright. Their posture had a significant influence on the substance of their replies. According to linguistic analyses, the slouchers were found to be more critical of themselves in their responses and had a greater degree of negativity and criticism than the non-slouchers. Participants who were assigned to sit in a slouched position or sit straight were tested in the aforementioned research.
After that, the individuals were shown a list of either good or bad words. They were then instructed to recall these statements. According to the research, slouchers recalled their mistakes far more frequently than their achievements. The participants sitting upright showed no such biases, as shown in the study. The act of sitting in an upright posture improves productivity and attention. Your posture significantly influences your behavior and personality without you even realizing it.
How to Get Rid of ‘Text Neck’ and Forward Head Posture’
Despite the gloomy tone thus far, things aren’t yet entirely lost! It’s fixable! There are generally two phases to treating text neck.
1. Corrective Exercises for Text Neck
If you’ve already identified that your posture has deteriorated and worsened over time, you can correct it by performing corrective exercises to repair the muscular imbalances that cause poor posture.
Text Neck is one of the most common sets of muscular imbalances:
- Tight neck muscles – Your head will tend to pull forward instead of sitting up straight if you have too tight neck muscles.
- The front of the neck has weak muscles – The text neck is characterized by a lack of strength in the cervical flexors. These muscles are founded on either side of the throat and aid in an upright posture. Strengthening these muscles will assist in forcing the head upright rather than allowing it to fall forward.
- Tight pec muscles – Tighter chest muscles will cause your shoulders to push forward rather than allowing your shoulders and head to fall back. The pectoral muscles will need to be stretched and relieved.
You must address all of these concerns. This implies relieving tight neck and chest muscles while also improving the neck. Forward head posture and how to cure rounded shoulders are addressed in these articles, which include stretches and exercises you can do every day to assist with text neck recovery. It’s critical to address both of these problems rather than just one. Upper Crossed Syndrome is a term used to describe the forward head posture and the rounded shoulders.
2. Developing Positive Habits
If you don’t correct the underlying cause, which in our case is a forward head position, all the corrective posture activities will be useless. If you want to get rid of text neck totally; you’ll have to avoid such circumstances or at the very least minimize the amount of time that you look down at your mobile. You may also correct your posture by allowing your body to relax and recover from the constant slumped position it’s in.
Here are some suggestions:
Keep Your Mobile Higher
Holding your phone closer to eye level may seem odd, but it will reduce neck strain and place your head in a more natural posture. Keeping your phone higher is more beneficial for your posture than looking down at it all of the time.
The disadvantage of a desk job is that you spend the whole day sitting in a chair. This is bad because you will frequently bend your head forward and slump your shoulders as you spend all day looking at a computer display. Consider adopting a standing mode at work. It’s also better for your posture to stand up straight, and when you do so you can stand up tall with your shoulders back and neck straight.
If you have to sit throughout all the day; at the very least, think about standing up and walking around every now and again. You may prevent your body from becoming too acclimated to a bad sitting posture by getting up. Stand up straight, with your shoulders back. Continual and prolonged use of technology may negatively influence your eyes and back. Stand up and walk around once every half hour or so to break this monotonous cycle of being hooked to the screen.
Walking and Jogging
Instead of relying on public transportation every day, consider walking. Why not go for a walk to get away from your phone or screen if you’ve been sitting all day?
Proper Lumbar Support
You may not be able to preserve your posture if your working station setup is incorrect. Ensure your desk and chair are positioned at the ideal height for good posture before sitting down and powering up your laptop. To maintain the ideal seated posture, ensure you have enough lumbar support.
Use Technology Less
It may be challenging for many individuals to grasp. However, it is still feasible to live a life without utilizing phones or computers. It’s not always feasible to give up using technology altogether, but you may use it less. This will significantly assist you in preserving your posture and avoiding text neck syndrome. Technology may be a significant aspect of our existence; but you shouldn’t allow it to have too much control over you. Hopefully, after reading this essay, you’ll never regard your phone in the same way again, both literally and metaphorically.