Updated: May 11, 2020
We're all finding ourselves in a different world. This world means the kitchen counter is a work space. This world has a little more couch time. This world means social connection happens looking down at our phones most of the time.
Sure, we were spending way too much time staring at screens long before SARS-CoV-2. Over this past decade, I've noticed a depressing uptick in teenage cervical issues. Heavy backpacks and iPhones do not proper adolescent neck posture make. During our typical Netflix and chill evenings, we just can't seem to help but look down at our phones at the same time.
But cell phones aren't going anywhere anytime soon. While we can make every attempt to ergonomically arrange our work spaces, it's unfortunately rarely enough. So what can we do?
YES, MAYBE, NOS
Anterior Neck Strengthening Exercises
This basic physical therapy exercise can help counteract those long hours looking down. When we look down, we inadvertently turn off the muscles in the front of our necks. As a result, the posterior muscles isometrically contract in a lengthened position to hold our heads up. This is not optimal, to say the least. It is this posturing that creates tension, pain and micro-tears in the posterior neck, upper back and shoulder musculature, placing tension on the fibers and your joints. Tension headaches, disc herniation - these all too common outcomes can be prevented by engaging our cervical musculature the proper way.
The following video introduces you to this simple exercise - this exercise you can easily do at home.
Shoot for once a day, particularly on those busy work days. Little moments of self care can be transformative.
You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.