The average adult head weighs somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10-12 pounds, which means the muscles that support the head and neck are equipped to handle about that much weight. However, when you take into account that pesky little thing called gravity you can start to see how as you change the angle of the neck, the head begins to get heavier, up to several times heavier, it turns out.
According to research done by New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, bending your neck at a 60 degree angle to peep at that selfie puts up to 60 pounds of pressure on your cervical spine. That’s like having a 7 year old on your shoulders while checking your email!
This can lead to headaches, nerve impingement (tingling in the arms or hands), and even arthritis and degeneration of the cervical vertebrae. Now, this tech based world we’re living in makes it difficult to avoid these situations altogether but let’s talk about some ways you can make things easier on your poor neck.
When at work, try raising your computer monitor up so it’s level with or just below you eye line. Make a point here of also setting a timer to get up from your desk once every hour or so. This is good on so many levels, not the least of which is getting you moving and letting you interact with actual people!
When you are on your phone, try to hold it up in front of you instead of only looking down at it. You may feel goofy but this is your long term health we are talking about here and my bet is if you’re someone who suffers from neck pain, you’re going to notice a decrease in that discomfort and a general load off your shoulders, and couldn’t we all use that.
So even though we live in a world that makes it difficult to unplug, be mindful of the way you hold your body and the postures you sometimes find yourself in.
Yours in Health,
Rachel Harrison RMT/MFRT