With the days of summer quickly coming to end, everyone – adults and school-age children alike – are bound to face longer periods at work stations, desks and on mobile devices. So, now is the time to learn how to decrease the potential for spine injury and avoid “tech neck”, according to Eric Edelman, PT and owner of Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance, a South Shore practice specializing in unique programs that provide comprehensive treatment in orthopedic, spine and sports medicine specialties.
“The spine is at greater risk of injury with forward bending and flexing motions,” said Edelman, pointing to these eye-opening statistics:
- We look at our phones on average 150 times a day
- We bend improperly 2000 times a day
- The average use of media (TV, computer, tablets phones) is 11-15 hours daily
- Prolonged sitting can lead to muscle/joint disease, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and depression
Posture can be improved by implementing a few basic tips:
- Don’t cross your legs; to maintain a proper inward curve to the lumbar (lower back) both feet should rest on the floor
- Adjust your chair to the correct level; your hips should be level with or slightly higher than your knees
- Use appropriate desk equipment – tablet stands, floating keyboards, comfortable chair – when sitting for prolonged periods
Edelman also stresses the importance of correct posture to avoid the so-called “tech neck.”
“The weight of your head increases significantly with forward posture,” he said.
Standing upright at zero degrees places roughly 10-12 pounds of pressure on the head, compared to the typical 60-degree posture associated with looking down at a mobile device, a stance that places 60 pounds or the equivalent of an 8-year-old on the neck.
“Many young people end up requiring medical attention for headaches, jaw and back pain due to dependence on devices,” said Edelman, noting that the easiest way to avoid “tech neck” is to look down at a mobile device with your eyes only as there is no need to bend the neck.
About Peak Physical Therapy and Sports Performance
Located in Norwell, Scituate, Quincy, and Hanover, Peak Physical Therapy & Sports Performance offers specialized programs tailored to their patients’ needs. They offer spinal and sports injury programs, and have also developed specialized programs that address post-surgical