young lady typing on keyboard of laptop in living room

Tech Neck

A “very” important topic for our children’s postural development, and their ongoing health, is the impact of Tech Neck – structural strain caused by constant technology usage.

Prevention during childhood, or “shutting the gate before the horse bolts”, is so much less expensive and not the least far, far less traumatic than attempts to remedy later in life.

A few years ago, I was invited, as a “part time” RMT (Remedial Massage Therapist) to donate a few hours of my time doing chair massaging at a Health & Wellbeing day at a local university hospital.  This is where the full realization of the dire impact of technology on POSTURAL HEALTH happened for me.

Over the course of three hours I did 10 minute upper back, neck and shoulder massages on some nurses, doctors but mostly reception staff, a number of the latter who said they were encountering headaches, mostly what they believed resulted from neck trauma resulting from lengthy stints in front of a computer.

So, it’s becoming increasingly clear that poor postural habits are impacting the health of many in this technology age, as per attached news clipping. So, it’s very important that we get the key messages about posture across to our children to, once again, fully accommodate a “preventative attitude”.

Posture is a very broad topic and I will attempt to elaborate in future blogs but for now the focus of this article is “TECH NECK”

“Reportedly” the average time spent with technology is 1.8 to 2 hours per day.  A human head contributes about 6 % of body mass.  The bio mechanical impact of head forward with computers and particularly smart phones is about 10 to 12 kilograms.  Muscles which support upper body, neck function “and” stability are STM’s (Sterno Cleido Mastoids), Upper Trapezius etc., are under constant strain.

professional massage therapist treating a female patient s injured neck
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Yes, our young people, many of whom now have access to smart phones, might say, “Hey, it ain’t a problem for me!’ But as I’ve seen many times, constant pressure on the body’s muscular/skeletal structure, eventually reach a “tipping point” for many much sooner than later, results in trauma which could have been prevented via postural awareness and habits.

Think! How many of us hold a smart phone at eye level when we are using it to send texts or to look for information?  Where is the smart phone?  Is it at chest or even waist level?  What is the position of the neck?  Which muscles are going to feel the strain with constant daily use?  What might the health impacts be?

More on this very important health topic to follow.  In the meantime please think about you and your children having frequent breaks from technology time.  Be constantly aware of poor postural habits like head, shoulders forward, back not straight, etc.  If you or your children are struggling with these things, perhaps consult with your chosen health professional ie. physiotherapist, exercise physiologist, chiropractor, or remedial massage therapist.  

It’s all about educating ourselves, isn’t it?