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Practice Safe Tech! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Valerie Smith   

Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets have made our lives more convenient. We can now send e-mails, access the Internet, manage our schedules and use spreadsheets and other office software from our phones and tablets.

Before these advances in technology, our bodies moved as we used the phone and the computer, we walked to the fax machine and flipped through our calendars. Now we slump over a small screen with little change in our position. Our bodies are made to move—not to maintain the same posture for long periods of time. This doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice these modern conveniences for your health, but you should minimize the risks.

To minimize tech neck, the American Chiropractic Association recommends:

  • Sit upright, keeping your ears over your shoulders.
  • Look down with your eyes and gently tuck your chin in, not forward.
  • Never pinch the phone between your ear and shoulder. Using a headset reduces muscle fatigue and frees your hands for typing or writing.
  • Support your forearms on a pillow during extended texting to reduce the strain on your neck and shoulder muscles.

An even better way to reduce the risk of tech neck is to reduce the amount of time spent on personal devices by doing the following:

  • Return only urgent e-mails on the phone. Respond to other e-mails from your computer.
  • Use key shortcuts (cut, paste, etc.) and abbreviations.
  • Enter all contact info on the computer, and synchronize the devices to transfer the data to the phone.
  • Monitor the time spent on the phone.
  • Avoid, or at least minimize, using word processing and spreadsheet programs on your phone.
  • Take breaks to stretch and shake out the hands.
  • Turn the phone off when possible! If it is on all the time, it’s more likely to be overused.

For more information on how tech neck can affect your health, click here. If you are already experiencing pain from overusing your tablet or smart phone, click here to find a doctor of chiropractic in Georgia.