The age of “text neck” is here. With phones and tablets becoming a necessary part of working, playing, shopping, and socializing, we are spending more and more time hunched over. True to form, we turn our shoulders in and tilt our head down, contemplating the latest email, browsing the newest video, ordering the current trend, and typing out four dozen messages. It seems we can hold this posture for hours at a time, day after day. But this posture cannot be held this long without consequences. We are all becoming more and more susceptible to “text neck.”
In order to avoid persistent text neck, consider these five stretches you can perform almost anywhere: http://globalnews.ca/video/3484456/ask-an-expert-fitness-6
The Double Chin Squeeze.
To perform the double chin squeeze, sit up straight with your chest up and pull your chin inwards toward your throat. It’s called the double chin squeeze because when you perform this neck stretch, it should make the skin under your chin fold over itself, making it look as though you have a double chin. The goal of this exercise is to strengthen the muscles in the front of your neck. These muscles often lose strength as we spend more and more time hunched over our phones and tablets.
The Handcuff Stretch.
This stretch is one of the best stretches to correct “text neck,” and should be in everyone’s stretching inventory. Again, begin by standing or sitting up straight. Now, take each arm and put it behind your back, as if you were being handcuffed. Use one hand to grab your other wrist, and begin to push your chest and shoulders up and out. After 10-15 seconds, swap whichever hand is doing the grabbing. Alternating between hands, you should begin to feel a slight loosing of the muscles in your shoulders and chest.
The Arm-Across-the-Chest Stretch.
To perform this stretch, place one arm across your chest and use the opposite hand to pull the elbow inward, making your bicep come close to touching your chest. Hold this pose for 30-45 seconds then repeat this procedure with the other arm. Performing this stretch will loosen the muscles in your upper back.
The Cross Arm Stretch.
The Cross Arm Rotation stretch is one of the more advanced stretches, but it will provide your mid-back muscles with some well needed relief. Sit with your knees spread apart in a chair or on a flat bench, cross your arms, lean over, and place the palms of each hand on opposite knee. Proceed to spread your knees as far as is comfortable, while still holding onto each knee with the opposite hand. Holding this stretch for 10-15 seconds, you should feel the muscles in your mid-back loosen.
The Seated Rotation Stretch.
This stretch involves sitting up straight in a chair or on a bench, twisting all of the way to one side, and using your hands to brace yourself. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Once you’ve twisted to one side and held it, switch to twisting the opposing side. This stretch will loosen muscles in your mid and lower back, and help with general rotation movements.
Not only can “text neck” lead to an unattractive posture, but years of poor posture from leaning over your phone or tablet can lead to muscle imbalances and chronic pain. Each of these stretches, performed daily, can help alleviate “text neck” and poor posture. Consult your doctor before starting an exercise or stretching program.