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Disrupt: Text Neck

Disrupt: Text Neck

Everywhere you go people are connected to their devices and everywhere you go, you start to see a familiar posture — Text neck.

Ranging from a slight tilt down to a full upper body ski ramp, text neck is literally a pain in the neck (back and head).

I am really hoping you don’t need much convincing that you have to correct this behavior. The spine has an optimal shape and that involves curves and articulations. These curvatures keep the 10-12 lbs of head we are lugging around from slowly destroying our skeletal structure. Forcing the neck into an angled straight line however, tilts the weight of the head off its proper axis and quickly deteriorates your cervical spine. You end up slouching more and more to compensate and before long you resemble our primate cousins. Let’s avoid that, if only because breathing and voice use cannot sustain power in that environment.

Here is a solid plan:

  1. Raise your phone: Seriously up to where your eyes should be when you are upright. Which means you really can’t text and walk but also that you avoid the aforementioned primate posture.
  2. Arch and Stretch your Neck and Back: Throughout the day articulate different shapes with your neck and back, gently stretching through the entire length. 80 year old you will be so incredibly grateful.
  3. Engage proper posture: This means more active core and shoulder blade use that most of us are used to so you may need to add some exercise to your routine.
  4. Drop your Jaw: Dropping your jaw and extending your tongue are great checks on your alignment. They simply don’t work that well when your chin is on your chest.
  5. Don’t ignore this: Seriously, I hate to be a buzz kill but this habit will take years of health off of your life.

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Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.

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