If you spend hours hunching over a computer or staring down at a smartphone, you’ve likely been plagued with the pain known as “tech neck.” The condition is caused by repeatedly craning your head down and forward to look at a screen, applying excess pressure–up to 50 pounds–on bones and muscle meant to handle only 10-12 pounds (the head’s weight at neutral). It can feel like a strain at the neck, stiffness in the shoulders, might result in headaches, and can do worse damage to the spine over time.
The good news is you can condition your body to reverse “tech neck” pain and prevent further discomfort. We turned to Rothie Banzuelo, an elite personal trainer at Crunch, to show us five exercises you can do at home. “Sitting behind a computer for hours a day will cause muscle imbalances called Upper Crossed Syndrome and Forward Head Posture that results in neck and back pain,” she says, “These exercises will stretch the overactive and tight muscles, and train the body to keep the head back in correct alignment.” For best results, do the following posture-improving sequence twice a day.
Positive Health Wellness produced this graphic.