Fitness Funda Of The Week By K11 – Sar Uthake Jiyo – Avoid The Text Neck

With extensive use of the smartphone, comes a modern spine ailment called the ‘Text Neck’ or ‘Tech Neck’, also known as ‘Anterior Head Syndrome’ or ‘Forward Head Posture’. Its symptoms include headaches, neck pain, tingling in arms, stiffness and fatigue. This Repetitive Strain Injury can cause problems along the entire length of the spine.

In good posture, when the ears are aligned over the shoulders, the neck, at an angle of 0 degrees, bears the actual weight of the head which is 10-12 pounds, roughly 5 kg.   However, while texting or using the phone, the neck is drawn forward and is tilted at an angle of 60 degrees. The farther the head tilts forward, the more pressure it puts on the spine. From an angle of 0 degrees to 60 degrees, the weight of the head when looking down at the cell phone increases the pressure 5 times over. i.e. the head now exerts 60 pounds of pressure on the cervical spine and its supporting structures. Statistics reveal that we spend an average of 5-6 hours on the phone every day. Little wonder then, that orthopaedic problems affecting the neck are on the rise.

So, what’s to be done? Giving up the phone is not a possibility, no matter what!! Looking at options to combat text neck is a better approach. A few heedful actions can help relieve the pressure.

Hold the phone in front of your face – a bit below eye level. Make an effort to stay in neutral position so that your neck is facing forward and your ears are aligned with your shoulders. Better posture means better overall health.

  • You don’t have to hold the phone in your hand all the time. Make use of hands-free alternatives like earphones, speakerphone and dictation options.
  • While viewing videos, or during long video calls, make use of phone stands with adjustable height and angle for perfect positioning.
  • Take breaks and use that time to stretch your neck and shoulders. This will play a big part in preventing and relieving text neck. Do this simple stretch couple of times each day: Stand tall, arms by your side. Extend both hands behind your back and clutch your left wrist with your right hand. Pull gently and tilt your head to the right. Hold for 30 seconds then switch hands and repeat. Tilt your head the other way.
  • Apps like “Save your Neck” hand-hold you through a variety of movements for 10 minutes. You simply press the start button and follow the instructions. To help you adhere, you can set up reminders with Google Calendar Goals.

The band, Kodaline’s chart buster ‘Head held high’ can be seen in yet another perspective! And our pet beagle, Snoopy’s wise words can teach us a thing or two, “Keep looking up, that’s the secret of life!”


Lata Rajan
Senior Faculty (Exercise Science)
K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences
Fitness Icon Kaizzad Capadia

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