Feeling like your neck hurts? Your screen may to blame. Specifically, your phone. Based on a 2019 study, on average, people spend about 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones, pick up their phone 58 times a day, and cannot spend go longer than 1 hour and 43 minutes without touching their phones. These numbers have likely increased since 2019 due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, the amount of time spent on our phones has physical impacts. Neck Pain, eye strain, and cramped hands are a few of the all-too-common problems from excessive phone use. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your discomfort through the following phone ergonomics tips: 

Hold your Phone Higher to Stop Tech Neck

Many of us tilt our head forward and down when viewing our phones, resulting in discomfort over time, known as “Tech Neck.” To prevent unnecessary strain on your neck, keep your shoulders relaxed and use your arms to lift your phone higher to view your screen. That way, you can maintain a neutral neck position by having your head directly above your shoulders and your chin parallel to the floor. 

Switch Up Your hands and Relax Your Grip

It’s common to use our thumb or one hand when on our phones. Instead, alternate hands and/or use both hands when holding your phone, and switch between your fingers and thumbs to scroll and type.

Also, to relax your hand when holding your phone, integrate a grip accessory on the back of your device, such as a strap or other attachment. Keep your wrists in a straight, neutral position when on your phone, as angling your wrists causes more strain.

Talk Hands Free

Do you ever find yourself on the phone for long periods of time, either cradling your phone between your ear and neck or holding your phone up with your arm? To take calls with ease, put your phone on speaker or use a headset/earbuds. This will help you maintain neutral neck posture and frees up your hands.

Take Breaks

Lastly, along good posture, make sure to take breaks! Staying in the same position for extended periods of time, no matter how good your posture, is not healthy. If you’re using your phone for more than 15 – 20 minutes, put it down and walk around, get water, use the bathroom – do something to change up your position. Your body is meant to move!

These tips are simple and will help you combat discomfort associated with the phone. If these sounds like a lot, try incorporating one recommendation at a time. With some practice, you can use your technology comfortably and get rid of tech neck!


Atalie Hsiao is a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist and the founder of Rounded Well, an ergonomics consulting company with the mission to empower people to work comfortably. She educates individuals and organizations on how to set up their workspace and build good habits to maintain a healthy work life. To learn more about Rounded Well’s ergonomics services, visit https://roundedwell.me

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