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6 Tips for Preventing Tech Neck

We use computers at work, tablets for entertainment, and our phones all the time. So many devices can lead to tech neck -- neck pain and strain from looking down or from an improperly set up desk or workstation.

To avoid neck pain and possible damage to the muscles and tendons of your neck, follow the tips below!

Set your workspace up with ergonomics in mind.

The top of your computer monitor should be just below eye level, so that you aren’t looking up or down at it, and your keyboard should be one or two inches above your thighs and positioned so that your arms are almost perpendicular to the floor.

Keeping the computer monitor about an arm’s length away can help prevent neck strain as well as eye strain. Pause regularly to stretch your arms, shoulders, neck, and wrists.

Your chair should allow your knees and hips to be about level and your feet resting on the floor or a footstool. If you don’t have sufficient lumbar support from your chair, you may want to use a small pillow.

Keep your shoulders relaxed while you work, and pay attention to your posture. Many experts agree that more neutral positions are safer.

Read with care.

If you use a tablet or e-reader, you may have pain from looking down at it. The cervical vertebrae and the surrounding muscles can be strained if you bend your neck down too much or for too long.

One way to avoid potential injury is to use a tablet case that props the device up so that it’s easy to look at without bending your neck.

Take breaks.

Experts suggest taking a break every 15 to 20 minutes whether you are using a desktop, laptop, or tablet. Stop for three minutes, stretch a bit, and move around.

If you find it difficult to remember to take a break, you may want to use a timer or an app designed to remind you to stop. Change your posture and position in addition to stretching.

Consider sitting in a chair that has a headrest.

Especially when you are using a tablet, you may want to sit in a chair that has a headrest. If your head is in contact with the headrest, you aren’t looking down. It’s easy to forget posture when you are relaxing, but you don’t want to injury yourself while reading a good book!

Exercise your core.

Regardless of the activity -- even sitting in a chair reading -- your core muscles are working hard. Your core, which is made up of the muscles in your lower back and your abdominal muscles, support the entirety of your upper body, including your neck.

When it hurts, stop.

If you notice that your neck hurts when you sit at your desk, or after you have used your tablet or smartphone, see Dr. Jason Ablett at Pinnacle Health Chiropractic. You may need treatment, or Dr. Ablett may show you exercises or stretches that will help alleviate the pain.

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