Smartphone tip: Lower your gaze, not head, to prevent neck pain

Frequently staring down at your smartphone with your head lowered can cause neck pain. Experts say you're better off looking down without tilting your head. — dpa

Tense and painful neck muscles are sadly normal for many people these days. Besides improper posture at work, they may also be caused by frequent smartphone use, health experts say.

So while at work or using your smartphone, you should regularly check your posture. As a general rule, try to look down at the phone without lowering your head, advises the Campaign for Healthier Backs (AGR), a German association that promotes and disseminates research on preventing backache.

It also advises back-strengthening exercises to prevent neck pain, which it says is usually caused my tense, hardened muscles around the vertebrae of the neck and upper back.

Particularly helpful, the AGR says, is a back-friendly workplace with an office chair enabling dynamic sitting, for instance, or a height-adjustable desk that lets you occasionally work while standing. – dpa

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