Updated: Aug 31, 2021
Lots of us work at a computer for long periods, causing a hunched over, forward-leaning curve to the back. When you add in the way we look down over our smartphones and tablets, we’re facing a posture problem of epidemic proportions.
Our head is a heavy object for our neck and spine to support, so when we lean forward we are putting huge strain on the joints and muscles in the upper back and shoulders, whilst shortening the muscles and tendons at the front of the neck and chest. As our use of smartphones increases, so does the explosion in ‘Text Neck’ problems.
The usual symptoms of ‘Text Neck’ are pains in the head, neck, arms and upper back, some sufferers also feel numbness and tension headaches. In extreme cases, excessive wear and tear may need an operation to correct.
Being aware of the issue is the first step to improving it and there are exercises you can do to strengthen and stretch your neck and back to avoid permanent damage. Just as we’re advised to get up and move away from our desks every 30-45 minutes or so, we need to take breaks from our smartphones too.
It is easy to get carried away reading our social media for hours or responding to a never-ending stream of messages but it’s really important to be aware of our posture – hold the phone at eye level and keep the shoulders pushed back, and most importantly, put the phone down and do a few stretching exercises like these:
Chin Extension – whilst sitting up straight, roll your head back towards your spine. Slowly open and close your mouth with your head tipped back. This helps your vertebrae to be released from the stooped position.
Shoulder Roll – slowing roll your shoulders forward to stretch out your entire upper back then push your shoulder blades together and roll your shoulders back and down.
Head Tilt – keeping your shoulders level, drop your right ear towards your right shoulder then roll to the other side and repeat the stretch.
Wall Angel – like a snow angel but upright and warmer! Stand against a wall with your head, back and feet touching it. Hold your arms against the wall at shoulder height, raise them above your head along the wall and back down to shoulder height.
You will see a real difference in your posture and a reduction in pain if you do some back strengthening exercises every day, or why not join one of our online Pilates classes that will help you to feel stronger, more confident and healthy at www.gemmapearcefitness.co.uk