As a nation, we now spend a day a week online.
At 70%, more of us than ever are using our smartphones to stay connected so it’s no surprise that there is a steep rise in the number of people suffering from neck, shoulder and upper back pain.
‘Text-neck’ is now a thing as we spend over 3 hours a day (and increasing) curled over our phones.
The average human head weighs 10-12 lbs. As your head tilts down, the gravitational pull on your head places additional pressure on your neck, up to a staggering 60 lbs at 60 degrees (or a small labrador to put it into perspective!)
When logging off isn’t an option, a good way to counteract this pressure is to work on strengthening our neck and upper back. Try these exercises once a day to help improve your posture and avoid your smartphone becoming a pain in the neck…
Keep your head upright and place your hand flat against the side of your head. Gently push your head away from you and use your neck muscles to resist, so your head remains upright. Hold for 20-30 seconds each side and repeat 3 times.
Back Extension With Scapula Retraction
Lying face down, engage your core and raise your upper body from the floor. As you do so, lift your arms and squeeze your shoulder blades together, keeping your legs and buttocks relaxed and head looking down. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.
Loop a resistance band against something sturdy, engage your core and taking hold of the ends of the band, keep your elbows in tight to your body and pull your arms towards you, squeezing in between your shoulder blades as you do so. Repeat 12-16 times for 3 sets.
Take hold of each end of a resistance band and hold out in front of your body. Engage your core and keeping your arms almost straight, move your arms back horizontally, stretching the band and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Repeat 24 times.
If you haven’t exercised before, you may feel muscle soreness around the shoulder blades and neck the first week or so. This is perfectly normal and your body’s response to getting stronger.