Forget Turkey Neck; It’s All About Tech Neck
There were bound to be some repercussions for being “plugged in” 24 hours a day. We already know that constant electronic stimulation can lead to depression and trouble concentrating. But there are physical repercussions as well to being glued to your phone. One of them is “tech neck.”
What Is Tech Neck?
This trending term is the result of constantly bending our necks to look down at our phone or computer screen. That repetitive movement leads to sagging skin, drooping jowls, wrinkles above your collarbones, and an increase in lines and creases in your chin and neck area. Additionally, tech neck is associated with chronic headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and the early onset of arthritis.
How Serious is Tech Neck?
Think Tech Neck doesn’t apply to you? Think again. Research has shown that the average person checks their phone about 85 times a day. And if you are between the ages of 18 and 39, that number can increase to as many as 150 times a day!
Looking down at a screen can apply up to 50 pounds of pressure on bones and muscle that are only meant to handle 10 – 12 pounds.
What Can I Do To Prevent Tech Neck?
Treat your neck and check as you would your face. Most people have a regular skincare routine for their face, but they often don’t for their neck and chest. Expand your skincare practice to include your neck and chest. Or, even better, create a specific skincare routine for your neck and chest.
Exercise your neck. Start by slowly stretching your neck forward and back, and side-to-side. Improve blood flow in your neck by placing your index fingers on either side of your windpipe, moving them up and down your neck about 20 times. To improve your facial muscles, say the alphabet out loud in a slow and exaggerated voice 5 times.
Don’t rest your chin on your hands. Do you rest your chin in your hands when you look at the computer? Well, stop. This leads to unnecessary stretching of the skin around your neck.
Use headphones when talking on the phone. If you use a manual handset, you probably find yourself resting your phone between your head and shoulder when you need to reach for something or use your hands. This also creates unnecessary stretching of the skin around the neck and chin area.
Incorporate yoga into your daily routine. Many yoga poses are helpful in reversing the damage of tech neck. Upward Facing Dog, Bird Dog and Cobra help to stretch overactive, tight muscles, correct spine alignment and improve posture.
Get the app. Yep, there is even an app for tech neck that helps remind you to hold your phone at an ideal angle for viewing, relieving pressure on your spine and cramping in your neck.
One thing about Tech Neck is for sure, if you do nothing, it will get worse. So take action today, put down your phone and spend some time outside. You’ll thank us later!
Sources: StyleCaster, Elle, SELF