Men's Health, Elle Magazine, USA Today, WebMD, and many more have written about it, especially in the last 12+months, tech neck or text neck, and I will also add workout neck to this list of activities that can have awful effects on your neck and shoulders.
Below are common postures we often assume when working on our digital devices, computers, and exercise.
We must consider that old saying how we do anything is how we do everything. If we constantly strain our necks in less than optimal alignment to support our heads throughout much of our day, we are likely not correcting that posture much through other activities.
Can we save our necks and posture?
The answer is yes, with consistency.
None of these other articles touched on one thing, and that is setting yourself with for success. Instead, most of them highlighted exercises to do after the fact.
The reality is, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten. You have to change your neck/head position when working on your phone, computer, or exercise. You can do all the exercises in the book and still experience no difference.
Change is necessary for a different result.
Create a tiny habit before sitting down at your desk to work on the computer, before picking up your phone, or before beginning an exercise before your workout.
It can be just this simple: Imagine a string is pulling the back of your head (that bump on the back of your head) towards the ceiling. When you do this, you may feel your chin nod down a bit. This movement IS NOT a chin tuck when you push your chin back. Instead, it is more of a chin nod.
Dr. Osar (pictured left) teaches us to check our alignment prior to performing an exercise or a task. Seen here checking his head alignment as described above.
It takes no time to sit at your desk, place your hands on the back of your head, imagine the string and place your hands on the keyboard and start typing away.
If you are on a train or plane and spending a bit of time texting on your phone, set it down for just a second, place your hands on the back of your head, imagine the string, pick up your phone (maybe hold it up a bit higher) and begin texting.
Imagine the string before you pick up the weight or begin each time you set up for an exercise at the gym.
Expert tip: Inhale and then imagine the string as you exhale:)
Change of any kind can be challenging. Stick with it. Your head, neck, and shoulders will thank you!