Thursday, July 18, 2019

Health with Tess: Stretch it out

March 6, 2019 by Tess Syrowik, contributing writer

You know that hunchy, achy feeling right between your shoulder blades and up into your neck? Some people call it “texting neck” but I think it can be equally named “Instagram neck” or “Candy Crush neck.”

Too much time slouching over our phones is bad for our posture, impacting our organs, body language, and causing upper back and neck pain. 

Here are a few simple things you can do to alleviate your backache and to help you sit up a little taller. 

Health with Tess is a column about health issues; it appears in every issue of Nexus.

Roll your shoulders up toward your ears, then down on your back. Use your muscles to press the tops of your shoulders down and pull your shoulder blades toward one another. This will open your chest up and improve your posture. I like repeating this a few times to loosen up those achy muscles and take a mini mental break from the task at hand. It’s especially useful when you don’t have a lot of time and space. 

A good stretch is more thorough and is best done when you have more time. To stretch out your upper back, hang your body down as if to touch your toes but bend your knees enough to rest your body along your thighs. Stay there and breathe deeply a few times. If your back feels stiff and uncomfortable, increase the bend in your knees to give your body more support. You can also do this while sitting on a chair or on the floor. This can relieve tight back muscles, especially the ones between your shoulder blades. 

If you want to get your blood flowing the other way, lie down on the floor with your feet up a wall. Tuck your shoulder blades in and try to lengthen your neck—more space between your earlobes and the tops of your shoulders means more release in your neck. If you’re uncomfortable keeping your legs straight, bend them. This is your body, so you should listen to it.

In short, take breaks to move around a bit and do what feels good for you. Your posture is important, and a few minutes to stretch your back here and there will help you feel better without getting in your way of juggling the school/life circus.

Facebook comments; non-Facebook comments below

Comments are closed.