The Troublesome “Tech Neck”

Take a look at your posture as you are reading this. Chances are you are hunched over looking down at your tech device. In today’s society, this “Tech Neck” posture is all too common. We spend so much time looking at our devices, our shoulders round and heads jut forward into a troublesome position that now feels natural.

In actuality, the natural position should be shoulders back and down, with the chest open. Try it. Pull your shoulders back and pull your head in line with your spine. If you’re like most, this “natural” position probably feels very unnatural at this point.  Try to become aware the next time you are hunched over in the “Tech Neck” position. The “Tech Neck” might have found its way into your posture, but the good news is there are ways to fight it.

With some simple exercises focusing on strengthening and stretching the upper torso, we can retrain our bodies to good postural habits.  Here are 3 exercises to add to your fitness routine. You won’t need any weights or equipment, so no excuses!

  1. Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Begin by standing up straight with feet shoulder-width apart, knees soft. Hinge forward from your hips, maintaining a neutral spine, and arms dropped down naturally. Lift your arms up laterally and feel your shoulder blades retract. Lower your arms and repeat 12-15 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress this move by adding weights in each hand.

  1. Superman Breast Stroke

Begin by laying flat on your stomach. Extend spine and lift chest and legs off the floor while reaching forward like superman. Begin circling your arms to hips like the breast stroke. Repeat 8-10 times. Perform 2-3 sets.
Progress by alternating straight-leg kicks as your arms circle.

  1. Chest Expansion

Begin by standing with feet wide, toes facing forward. Clasp your hands behind lower back. Slowly hinge forward from the hips, while your arms reach toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 4 deep breaths and return to start position.  Perform 2-3 times.

  1. Wall Snow Angel

Stand up straight against a wall. Try to have three points touching the wall: tailbone, shoulder blades, and back of head. Reach arms out to the side and raise and lower like you are making snow angels.  Repeat 8-10 times.  Perform 2-3 sets.

By strengthening and stretching the upper torso, these simple exercises will help you fight the troublesome “tech neck.” Focus on your posture when you stand, when you sit, when you eat, and when you read. Pull those shoulders back, bring your head in line with your spine, and breathe in the air of confidence.

Make it a great day,
Meryl

Featured Recipe

squash chick pea pecan salad

Savory Squash Salad

Ingredients:
1 Buternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 can chicpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup pecans
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Dressing:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, preheat oven to 400.
Combine squash, chickpeas, pecans, oil, and maple syrup. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the cooked squash mixture. Serve on top of your favorite greens. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “The All-Day Fat-Burning Diet” by Yuri Elkaim.

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