Tech Neck? Text Claw? See if you have these common symptoms that stem from using screens and computers. For more serious conditions, like severe depression, violent episodes or suicidal thoughts, please see your health care professional immediately.
Tech Neck. Maintain good posture to avoid neck and shoulder pain.
✔ When sitting at the computer, use a good chair with lumbar support, or place a pillow against the small of your back. Sit up straight with your shoulders relaxed and your head level. Get up and stretch all your limbs regularly.
✔ When using a handheld phone, avoid propping it between your head and shoulder. Invest in a hands-free headset.
✔ When using an e-reader or tablet, use a case that allows you to prop the device at a comfortable viewing angle that doesn’t require you to bend your neck.
Text Claw. Repetitive motions—like excessive texting or typing—with the fingers, hands and wrists cause soreness and cramping.
✔ Stretch your arm out, palm up, and gently extend the hand backward.
✔ Put your hands together in a prayer-like gesture, and hold for several seconds.
✔ When texting, switch up which fingers you use to type.
✔ Use your phone’s dictation function.
Computer Vision Syndrome. Headaches and eyestrain result from spending a lot of time looking at a screen.
✔ Use good lighting. If your office has harsh interior overhead lighting, also use ambient light that’s about half as bright.
✔ Sit 20–40 inches from the screen.
✔ Invest in an antiglare screen cover.
✔ For eyestrain: Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times (slowly, as if falling asleep) to moisten your eyes.
✔ For headaches: Use the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look into the distance about 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
✔ Remove all screens from your bedroom.
✔ If you must be able to hear your phone, keep it across the room.
✔ Unplug at least one hour before bedtime. Read a book, take a bath or write in your journal.