Sometimes when we are working online, using our tablets can be a right pain in the neck – literally. Using portable tablets as work stations is increasing in popularity and more research is being conducted into the effect this has on our backs and necks. Are you feeling a strain on your neck? Perhaps it’s lower back pain or are you feeling a build-up of tension? Whatever form of discomfort you are experiencing, it may be the way you are using your tablet that is causing this. Here are some handy tips to help avoid ‘tablet neck’ and to help improve your posture whilst working.
Look Up, Not Down
A recent study showed that looking down at your tablet can put 3-5 times more strain on your neck muscles than when you work in a neutral position (such as looking at a desktop). Using a tablet flat on a surface such as a table or on your lap can have this effect, as the weight of your head can cause unwanted tension. Practising good ergonomics can have a significant impact on helping to reduce strain on your neck. The best position to have your tablet in is propped up at eye level. Using a product such as the Silesian Case automatically does this for you and helps you to avoid ‘tablet neck’. If you want to go a step further, attach a keyboard to your tablet to achieve a more upright posture when you are working.
Simple Stretches And Exercise
Another great way to help avoid neck pain is with stretches and strength training. Stretches such as shoulder rolls, forward and back tilting, and side rotations can help to alleviate some of the tension that builds up when using your tablet, as well as making your neck stronger. If you already have pain in your neck before performing these exercises, please consult a doctor first. A great way to get a full stretch and to make sure you are doing the moves correctly is to follow a video online.
Some other great exercises to help loosen your neck and improve flexibility include yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming. A little bit of exercise each day can do wonders for your neck, shoulders and back.
Try Not To Slump
When working on a tablet, it can be very easy to slump into a position that feels comfortable but isn’t good for us at all. Try to sit up straight to help with your posture. Studies show that slumping can cause knots to form in your neck that can lead to tension headaches. Practice sitting up straight and breathing from your abdomen. On every inhale, try to imagine you are drawing your navel in towards your spine as this will engage your core muscles and help to improve your posture. Incorporating some back and abdominal exercises into your workout routine at least twice a week can also help you to create a stronger back and better posture.
We are all guilty of working for extended periods of time on our tablets, whether it be watching a video, writing an essay or finishing a project we so desperately want to complete. However, not allowing ourselves small breaks can actually do us more harm than good. Every now and then, take a break from working and walk around your home or office, do some stretches and shake it off. By simply getting up you will reduce the strain on your neck and spinal discs, and will also help to boost your circulation. It’s the small things that count!
Hopefully, you can apply some of these useful techniques to your daily working routine and help banish the burden of neck and back pain for good.