The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to work from home. While working from home is actually the healthiest way to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it’s not exactly the ideal solution. The constant use of laptops, smartphones, and other handheld electronic devices can cause strain and pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. This is a result of posture problems caused by looking down at smartphones and holding them incorrectly.

Numerous studies have confirmed how sedentary our modern lifestyles are. Sitting for prolonged periods of time—whether at a desk, driving, watching TV, or sitting behind a computer—can lead to soreness, fatigue, and muscle strain, which is known as “tech neck.”

Are you suffering from ‘tech neck’? Known medically as Forward Head Posture (FHP), it’s an epidemic that has plagued office workers since the dawn of technology. People with tech neck can experience shoulder pain, neck pain, headaches, and other symptoms. But the good news is that it is possible to reverse the effects of FHP.

Sitting for long periods at a desk, hunched over your smartphone, is one of the worst things you can do for your neck, shoulders, and back. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can protect yourself from this all-too-common injury. Here are some tips:

Keep track of your posture 

While there are many causes of neck pain, such as poor posture, poor sleeping habits, or injury, sitting at a desk for extended hours staring at a screen contributes to neck pain the most. The painful effects of tech neck can include sore neck muscles, stiff neck, and headaches.

Your computer might be your best friend, but spending too much time in front of it can have negative effects on your health, particularly your neck. Because your neck is still somewhat immobile, sitting improperly can have lasting negative effects, including neck pain. Take frequent breaks from your screen, or look for a standing desk if you work in an office. And be sure to keep your neck muscles strong by stretching them regularly.

Try getting a more ergonomic setup 

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly looking down to text, email, check social media, or answer calls? This type of posture can lead to serious health issues, including early arthritis of your neck.

For most people, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed productivity at the office, which means many of us are spending more time at home. For many, it also means we have more time to sit in front of a screen. Which, for many people, means more time hunched over a computer or phone. This can lead to all sorts of problems, from headaches and neck pain to shoulder pain and back issues. But you can mitigate some of these issues with a few simple adjustments to your computer setup.

Take breaks once in a while 

Sitting at your desk all day can definitely take a toll on your neck. While you most likely won’t notice your neck acting up right away, it can become extremely stiff and painful over time. Thankfully, you don’t need a neck brace or neck exercises to fix your neck; you just need to give your body some (temporary) rest.

Try neck exercises 

During the pandemic, you may be required to spend most of your time at home in an environment that doesn’t allow for regular exercise. While inactivity can lead to weight gain, neck exercises can help prevent that. Neck exercises can strengthen and lengthen muscles as well as improve posture. It’s recommended that you perform neck exercises at least 5 days a week.

Pain, especially in the neck, is frustrating and can lead to further health problems. So, spend your non-work time doing things that don’t require you to be seated in front of a screen if you spend much of your day in front of a screen because of your job. Make the most of your free time by doing something fun that’s also good for you, such as taking a walk, meeting up with friends, or just taking a nap. Also, if you have been sitting for long hours, then try doing some easy neck exercise. Your neck will definitely thank you!

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