Ergonomics for Kids: Part 2 – Chiropractic Approved Tips to Prevent Tech Neck
‘Tech neck’, also known as text neck, is a new term used to describe neck pain or injuries caused from looking at computer screens, smartphones or tablets for extended periods of time. With children spending a significant amount of time on screens from a young age, health care practitioners are seeing an influx of young patients with neck pain and back pain associated with ‘tech neck’. Prevent tech neck and the associated symptoms by following Dr Miki’s chiropractic approved tips.
What Causes Tech Neck?
When children look down at screens for too long it puts pressure on the joints of the spine and trigger points can develop in muscles in the back of the neck and shoulders.
The normal structure and curves in the spine can start to change which can lead to rounded shoulders and a forward head position as the muscles and ligaments in the front of the neck start to adapt to this new head and neck position.
When this continues for long enough, neck and shoulder pain can develop and headaches are also a common symptom of ‘tech neck’.
It is no secret that the younger generation are using devices more and more. It has been reported that children are spending up to 2-3 hours per day on screens! All this time spent on phones means kids are spending less time being active, which further perpetuates the cycle of neck pain and posture problems.
Prevent Tech Neck
Learning how to prevent tech neck in kids is pretty simple. Instil these healthy habits into your kids daily routine to make a substantially reduce the possibility of neck and back pain occurring.
1. Reduce Screen Time
Try to reduce the amount of time kids are spending on phones and screens to no more than one hour per day. Cutting down screen time can not only help significantly to prevent tech neck by improving posture, but it also frees up time for kids to head outside and participate in other essential activities. Research shows that reduced screen time can also have a positive impact on kids’ physical, social and behavioural well-being.
2. Use Devices at Eye Level
When kids are on devices make sure all of their screens are at eye level. This includes smartphones! When using tablets, put a couple of books under them to prop them up or invest in a tablet holder. Using devices at eye level can help to prevent ‘tech neck’ by minimising neck flexion and also encouraging a neutral spine position.
3. Encourage Exercise
Encouraging kids to get outside and be active is vitally important for breaking up repetitive posture habits that build-up at school and when on screens. Teenagers involved in sport are less likely to experience neck pain due to increased strength and flexibility in the back and neck.
Awareness is just half of the battle. Trying to educate your child to be conscious of their neck position when they are on your computer or phone and making small adjustments throughout the day is the best way to prevent tech neck and tech neck symptoms developing!
Ask Us for More Tips to Prevent Tech Neck
Find out more healthy habits for kids or get in touch for advice, we would love to help you and your family! If you are experiencing pain in your neck or back, don’t ignore it and make a booking so we can evaluate a treatment program that best suits you.