Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and not even smartwatches, have become a necessary part of our lives. The way in which we depend on technology drives us to increase our screen time and develop habits that require our constant attention on technological devices.

In doing so, our bodies get quite the beating; even though we may not realise this straight away. Apart from causing strain on our eyes, smartphones are also causing us to alter our posture that can develop damage to our spine and neck.

When we bring our smartphones within inches of our faces, we curve our back and rollout shoulders inward as our head tilts forward – not the most ergonomic of positions. This 21st century pose can cause muscle tension and pain in the neck and back and over time can cause additional discomfort. This issue has become such a common ‘pain’ in our generations that we’ve coined a term known as “text-neck” to describe the pain caused by smartphone mishandling.

We spend between 2 to 4 hours on our phones, and with Screen Time apps letting us know exactly where, when and how we spent that time; our will power should definitely kick in at some point and hold back on contributing more to the addiction. Think about it; that about 700 to 1,400 hours per year spent with our backs curved, shoulders rolled and heads tilted – not great is it?

Well, at Phonebox, while we fully support the distribution of the finest smartphone technology on the market, we also care deeply about our customers well being; so we’ve compiled a list to help you balance out your smartphone usage time and lessen the negative impact it has on your posture and health:

1. Eye level it up

Bringing your smartphone up to eye level will help your eyes to focus and minimize the neck from tilting forward; this will improve your spine’s posture and decrease pain while using your smartphone.

2. Hands-free is an option

If you’re in for a long call, your best bet at protecting your neck is to use a hands-free aid; whether it’s the speaker on your smartphone, the multi media device in your car or a set of headphones; try and keep that phone away from your clenched neck.

3. Turn to desktop

This is probably the handiest of tips for those who combined with smartphone usage, spend a great portion of their day in front of a computer. If you’ve got long texts to type out; why not use your desktop apps for WhatsApp messages, Facebook Messenger and even iMessage if you’re a Mac user.

4. Micro-breaks are good

Smartphone sessions should be no longer that 20 minutes; it seems short because it is. We shouldn’t be spending too much time on our phones, the posture issue and the screen time issue is what causes this technological wonder to backfire on the human kind.

Learning how to balance out smartphone use to reduce neck and back pain can help us lead a healthier life. Taking small steps towards screen time reduction could help us live neck and back pain free… take it slow and notice the difference.