Tech Neck

We all spend a great deal of time staring down at devices, with our head hanging down and our neck leaning forwards. But this increasing reliance on technology is putting pressure on our postures.

“Every inch your head hangs forward off centre, adds extra perceived weight of the head by the nervous system, due to gravity,” explains Emily Kiberd, a chiropractor and founder of New York’s Urban Wellness Clinic. “The muscles need to counteract this weight by locking down to hold your head up. This leads to tension headaches, migraines, jaw pain, and tightness in the mid-back and upper traps.”

We can hardly help it – with all the advances in technology, with the requirements for distance learning over the past couple of years and with the myriad of social media apps and games to keep us occupied and learning using tech, we are spending so many hours slouched forwards. And when we are not doing any of the above, we are constantly glancing at our phones to check notifications and messages.

‘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 (

Here are some simple stretching exercises to programme into your daily routine, that will counteract the strain on your neck:

Chicken Neck

Sitting up straight and relaxed, move your head backwards without moving your neck, tucking your chin down and in. Try not to tilt your face upwards. Hold for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat.

Side Neck Stretch

Sit upright on a hard chair and let your right arm hang down your side. Using your left hand, gently and slowly pull your head to the left (keep right arm extended downwards) and allow the neck to stretch. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

Neck Stretch Behind the Back

Feet hip distance apart and arms hanging to your sides, stand tall. Using your right hand, hold your left wrist behind your back and pull it gently then slightly tilt your head to the right. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch hands and repeat.

Stretch Out Shoulders and Chest

When these muscles become tight, they put extra pressure on the neck. To loosen them up, stand facing a corner, which each forearm on one wall and elbows slightly below shoulder height. Lean in to feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders and chest.

On top of your regular stretching, think about the ergonomics (the physical environment) around your workspace. Your screen should be elevated so that your eyes are level with the top third of your screen and you should sit upright as much as possible.

Finally, be sure to take regular breaks from your desk. Our bodies are meant to be dynamic, so sitting in one position for a long time is far from ideal.

“No number of ergonomic tools will replace the benefits of taking breaks away from your desk and moving your body,” Kiberd concludes.

When you walk around, do some stretches, deliberately change posture and consciously relax your neck and back.

‘Let go of the idea of doing exercise in the morning and then that’s it for the rest of the day,’ says Nahid. ‘We should be moving as much as possible throughout the day.

Recommended links

How To Avoid Tech Neck In The Age Of Zoom | British Vogue

Why We All Have Tech Neck And What To Do About It | Grazia (

Tech neck: These are the best products to help you suffering from it | Evening Standard

Do You Have Tech Neck? Here Are the 5 Best Stretches to Relieve Neck Pain | Martha Stewart