The 21st Century has brought about some ground-breaking technological advances. With the rapid changes in technology, our lifestyle also changes. Many of us spend long parts of our day looking down at a cell phone or tablet. This is putting much unnecessary stress on our bodies.
Let’s think about this from a physics standpoint. If I were holding a 15-pound bowling ball (which is roughly the weight of our head), I’m going to want to hold this as close to my body as possible. This reduces the amount of energy my arms are going to have to exert to hold the bowling ball. Now as I move the bowling ball away from the body, my arms have to work harder and harder to hold it up. They’ll eventually fatigue and ache.
The same thing happens with our heads. As we look down and forward, the muscles of our neck are having to work much harder to hold the head up. This is going to eventually fatigue the muscles and create chronic ache in the neck and upper back. However, that’s not the only problem. Those muscles also travel up the neck and insert to the base of the skull. So we can also see headaches as a side effect. Additionally, as the head drifts forward, it pulls on the nerves heading down the arm. The end product here can be numbness or weakness of the arm.
Just how much stress are we putting on these muscles? Every 1 inch forward is an additional 15 POUND of pressure (or another bowling ball). So leaning that head just four inches forward is the equivalent of carrying around FOUR BOWLING BALLS! That is a lot of excessive stress on our muscles.
The fix to these problems is to correct our posture. We want to begin by sitting up straight with a tall chest. Next, roll the shoulders back. Now retract the chin and ensure the head is overtop the body. This is a strong neutral position that should help tackle some of the aches you may experience after a long day at the computer.