Why “text neck” is impacting your emotional well-being

With many of us working from home, ergonomics may have gone out of the window. Organisations have put a lot of effort into educating their staff on posture and correct technology use, but many of us, in the rush to get things done, ignore professional advice. This can be at a cost to our emotional well-being.

Posture is an important facet to not only physical wellbeing, but emotional wellbeing too. Just like facial expressions have a psychological feedback loop that feed into our emotional wellbeing, so does posture. When we are crouched, shoulders and head forward, and our posture stooped, our mood can be altered to reflect this. Likewise, when we are standing or sitting tall, head and neck straight, we feel a lot better.

One of the issues with bad posture is that it can lead to more headaches, tension and stress. When our body is under stress, we feel tense, and this alters our mood, meaning we feel more angst than if we were relaxed.

How working from home impacts on our posture

Text neck is the name given to the tilting of the neck into an unnatural position with overuse of mobile technology. Chiropractors have noted a change in the positioning of the neck because many of us are looking down at mobile phones and laptops. Over time, this tilting can lead to bad posture, headaches, back pain and more.

Another issue is the lack of routine can mean we are not taking breaks for exercise. Time away from our home office is important. We need fresh air to brighten our mood and exercise to help maintain a good posture. If you’re a small business owner, checking in on staff to see how they’re getting on, encouraging staff members who are in pain to seek out chiropractic support, and researching good ergonomics is imperative.

Stretches you can do at home

There are some things that you can do to protect your back and prevent text neck during time at home. This includes doing stretches such as the exaggerated nod; simply counteract the forward tilting by tilting your head and neck back, squeezing your shoulders too.

The very common Pilates pose known as the downward dog is also very useful. There are lots of YouTube clips to help you perform this stretch safely at home.

You can also prevent text neck from effecting you by changing how you hold your phone. Instead of looking down at your phone or laptop, lift it up to eye level. This will prevent text neck from forming or getting worse.

Overall, prevention is better than cure, so opt to do simple exercises from home to prevent back pain from affecting your lifestyle. If you’re experiencing tension, consider seeing a chiropractor too.

Sarah Tottle, Sydney Psychotherapy and Steven Lockstone, MyChiro

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