How to Correct Poor Posture and Avoid Tech Neck


Ian FeurtadoDirector for Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy

Monday, February 1, 2021

Did you know that spending hours in front of a computer or a smartphone can wreak havoc on the body? Tech neck is a condition caused by repeatedly leaning forward to view and operate electronic devices. This poor posture could lead to neck, shoulder and back pain — costing Americans $86 billion each year in health care expenses.

Infographic 4 Minutes
How to Correct Poor Posture and Avoid Tech Neck

Technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. We use smartphones, laptops and tablets for everything from checking work emails to managing social media accounts. While these gadgets provide greater convenience to the modern consumer, they also come with some disadvantages. For example, staring at a screen all day can cause the body to assume an unnatural position. The head tends to tilt downward and the chin extends forward, which places stress on the spine.

The average adult head — when held in a neutral, upright position — weighs about 10 to 12 pounds. However, when slouching at your desk or looking down at a screen, the head flexes forward, adding 50 to 60 pounds of pressure on the neck. This extra weight can strain the muscles, ligaments and tendons, which may lead to text neck. Other symptoms of the ailment include headaches, stiffness, numbness or tingling in the arms, and reduced mobility.

Luckily, tech neck pain is reversible and can be treated with stretches, acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractic care. Various exercises are recommended to help strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles.

For example, the levator scapula stretch could be used to alleviate aches and stiffness. To perform this exercise, sit upright in a chair and place the right hand behind the right shoulder. Then, look down at your left knee and tuck the chin toward the chest. Place the left hand on the back of your head, gently pulling down toward the knee until you feel a stretch. Hold the position for 30 to 40 seconds, then repeat the stretch for the opposite side.

Common yoga stretches such as upward facing dog and cobra can also help reinforce the spine and open the chest. For more information on tech neck pain and how to combat it, check out the infographic below:

Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy share several exercises and stretches to tackle tech neck

Ian Feurtado

Director for Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy

Ian Feurtado is Fitness and Wellness Director for Metro Physical & Aquatic Therapy, Long Island’s premier physical therapy company. Feurtado has been with Metro for more than seven years and has helped thousands of patients with his specialized exercise programs.


Join the conversation...