Working with technology can be a real “pain in the neck.”
Your neck is stiff. You notice a constant pain between your shoulder blades. You wake up with a headache or worse, a migraine. While stress is a likely cause, you may be suffering from “tech neck” – also known as tension neck syndrome.
Tech neck occurs by performing tasks with the neck in flexion (chin lowered at or toward the chest) for hours at a time. Using your phone, typing on your keyboard, or viewing your computer monitor in this way can put up to an extra 60 pounds of pressure on your upper spine.
We often dismiss concerns about these ailments thinking a massage will make them “good as new again.” Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The tension builds up and misalignment can exceed what the most skilled masseuse can correct. It often requires treatment by a doctor or chiropractor.
To help combat tech related injuries in the workplace:
- Position computer monitors so the top of the monitor is at or slightly below employees’ eye level.
- Keep the neck aligned while using smartphones or other hand-held devices.
- Promote the ongoing importance of stretching, taking regular breaks, and walking throughout the workday.
For more information about tech neck and other tech-induced disorders read State Fund’s ErgoMatters report.