The struggle is real. That weird posture of inching one’s head forward from the center of one’s shoulders, that crooked neck furthered by a hunched back attuning the entire body to a focal point that is technology, be it a tablet, a cellular phone, a laptop, or a desktop—it now has a name: the “Tech Neck.” And it is to blame for certain health issues such as persistent headaches, stiff neck, painful neck and shoulders, and tight upper back, not to mention an unsightly posture with a misled center of gravity.
While everyday discomfort can easily be dismissed as normal job hassles, an urbanista should be aware that unchecked, a Tech Neck can lead to weakened cervical spine, accelerating aging of the stressed joints and ligaments in the neck area and may even compound to spinal discs between the vertebrae moving out of normal position. Since the common stoop forward of the neck to that worshipped gadget subjects the neck ligaments (which hold bones together) to pressure to which they are not accustomed or for which they are not made, these ligaments may inevitably stretch beyond repair, which may consequently force nearby muscles to support the neck bones in assistance of the stretched out ligaments. This situation leads to muscle spasms and tightness.
While a busy city girl would love to indulge in a luxurious massage to knead tired muscles, it is quite a different quest altogether to have to visit a chiropractor to relieve an otherwise stressed out vertebrae. To keep one’s posture in check, simple daily changes may just do the trick.
1. Instead of hunching forward towards a gadget, lift that device to eye level or to such comfortable angle as it will support good normal posture.
2. Every half hour or so during the work day, raise one’s chin up to the ceiling and arch one’s upper back in salutation to the sky to take a break from the downward-forward posture common while typing and concentrating on one’s computer monitor.
3. Engage in light yoga to keep one’s body in tiptop shape while stretching worn out muscles, relaxing any pent up tension and stiffness caused by overall poor posture, encouraging blood flow and strengthening one’s back and core.
Prevention is key. While it may be out of the question to decrease the interference of portable technology in a fast-paced lifestyle, especially since achiever urbanistas naturally don numerous hats of responsibilities, small changes and mindfulness of health lead to a stronger stamina for the harder challenges of life.