How often do you check or use your smartphone? According to one study, the average American checks his or her smartphone a staggering 80 times per day. Depending on how you use your smartphone, it may cause neck pain. Each time you check your smartphone, you may inadvertently bend your neck. Over time, this bending can lead to a painful condition known as text neck.
What Is Text Neck?
Also known as smartphone neck, text neck is a colloquial term used to describe neck injuries attributed to excessive or prolonged smartphone usage. It involves repeated stress to the neck muscles, soft tissues and joints.
Most people, of course, check their smartphone by looking down. If your smartphone is a desk or table -- or even in your lap -- you'll probably bend your neck while looking down to check it. Text neck is the result of constantly bending your neck to check your smartphone. It stresses the muscles, soft tissues and joints in your neck, thereby causing pain.
Check Your Smartphone Less Frequently
You probably don't need to check your smartphone 80 or more times per day. Even if you use it your business activities, that's simply an unnecessary number of times. By cutting back on how often you check your smartphone, you'll be better protected against text neck.
Correct Your Posture
Improving your posture can also lower your risk of text neck. If you're guilty of slouching in your chair or slumping forward when you walk, it will leave you susceptible to neck it. Focus on improving your posture by maintaining your body's natural alignment. If your spine or neck bends unnaturally, it may lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), including text neck.
Raise Your Smartphone to Check It
Perhaps the most important thing you can do to prevent text neck is to check your smartphone by raising it up to your face. Checking your smartphone won't necessarily cause or contribute to text neck. It's only a concern if you bend your neck to check your smartphone. By raising your smartphone so that it's on the same horizontal level as your face, you can look forward to check it rather than bending your neck.
Sync Smartphone to Your Computer
Another way to prevent text neck is to sync your smartphone to your computer. Whether you own a Windows or Apple computer, it should offer mobile synchronization. With this feature, you can check text messages and even make or receive calls using your computer.