We’ve all been there: trying to open your car door while juggling your smartphone between your ear and your shoulder. Or maybe you meant to briefly check your email but suddenly it’s an hour later and your neck is killing you.
The resulting discomfort has been given a lot of funny names, like “text neck,” but chronic neck and shoulder pain is no laughing matter. Here are four ways to save your neck from bad smartphone habits.
1. Take a Break
Quickly checking Facebook over your lunchbreak isn’t likely to cause long-term problems with neck and shoulder pain. However, consistently staying slumped over your phone for hours on end is not something our bodies were designed to do. Use the alarm on that smartphone to set a timer reminding you to stand up and stretch so you’re not staying in one position too long.
2. Sit Up Straight
Your mother was right to lecture you about your posture. Any time you notice you’re bent over at an awkward angle, make an effort to straighten up and fly right. Your neck and shoulders will thank you.
3. Stretch Sometimes
Along with simply straightening your neck, you can also take time to gently arch your shoulders backward, stretching supportive muscles that may have grown too tight from repetitive smartphone use. As muscles relax, you should notice an improvement in any neck and shoulder pain.
4. Browse at Eye-Level
Instead of looking down at your phone, try raising your phone up to eye-level instead. This change in position can alleviate neck and shoulder pain that results from keeping your head tilted downward at an unusual angle for too long.