Health

What is a Tech Neck and How Can You Avoid It

tech neck
Image by thedarknut from Pixabay

Since February of this year, the majority of the people around the world are working from homes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Although coronavirus-related restrictions and the lockdown in most countries were eased in summers, many offices and workplaces are choosing to operate online in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection.

Another reason why many companies have continued work from home policy is that health agencies including the World Health Organization have stated that the end of the coronavirus health crisis cannot be predicted. The pandemic may accelerate for months and even another whole year.

As a consequence, many of the adults are working from home. While this policy does bring down the risk of coronavirus transmission significantly, it has caused a number of other issues.

Although most have adjusted their work setting and schedule accordingly at home, there are some problems that have been prevalent throughout the past eight months and are still common now, one of them being a ‘tech neck‘.

Tech neck is a term usually used for describing the feeling of discomfort in the neck and shoulders along with pain and stiffness. The issue is usually the result of staying in front of laptop screens and working for long hours consistently.

The number of adults reporting and visiting doctors for back and neck pain has risen dramatically since working from home has become common. The vast majority cannot afford to cut down on their working hours. However, this does not mean that a tech neck cannot be avoided.

According to doctors, the primary cause of the condition is sitting in a bad posture for long hours which results in stiffness and pain. So, the number one remedy to prevent the issue from occurring in the future would be to fix posture.

This can be done easily by creating a separate working place in the house. Since houses do not have properly built offices, most people resort to working on sofas and beds, which is not a healthy practice and contributes to bad posture.

Read also: Brain Fog Among Common Long-term Effects of Coronavirus 

Sitting upright on a desk and chair is much better than working from bed or sofa although the latter may seem more comfortable at first. Separating workspace and working on desk/table and chair can also help in avoiding other problems that have become common during the pandemic such as sleep loss.

In addition, taking breaks and walking in between working is also equally important. It prevents stiffness and can also avoid long-term spinal issues. If walking is not preferable, many doctors suggest stretching while working and sitting.

Doing so for only thirty seconds can make a big difference. For those with severe neck pain and stiffness, try resting, taking a day off, and incorporating yogas specifically for treatment and prevention of stiffness in the shoulders, neck, and back.

If the pain is persistent and accelerates to the back, discontinue stretching and yoga and visit a doctor as soon as possible to get professional advice and to check whether the issue is more than just a tech neck.

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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