WHY WE ALL HAVE TECH NECK(and what to do about it)
Grazia|April 2021
Rosamund Dean investigates the cure for a very modern affliction

When Nora Ephron wrote I Feel Bad About My Neck she had no idea what future generations would be dealing with. Her essay on how your neck belies your age, no matter how youthful your face, was published in 2006: One year before the iPhone was invented. Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time staring down at devices, exacerbating those horizontal wrinkles below our jaw – a phenomenon known as ‘tech neck’. In the past year, many of us have been working from home, hunched over laptops or smartphones, so it’s no surprise that tech neck is on the rise.

Sadly, the effect on our skin is the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this is doing to our bodies. “Tipping your head forward means your spine has to do a lot more work to keep you upright,” explains Nahid de Belgeonne, somatic movement coach and founder of The Human Method (thehumanmethod.co.uk). She’s not wrong: Your head weighs about five kilograms. “Joints and organs are not designed to be weight-bearing. It can lead to breathing issues, so it affects everything.” But as many of us WFH for the foreseeable, what can we do about it? First, assess your set-up. “Make sure your device is at eye level and, if you can, find various places to work around your home. Could you use the kitchen counter as a standing desk for an hour? I sometimes sit in a squat position on a bolster, with my device on a low table.”

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