In the past few weeks, I’ve chatted with a few clients who have complained about a stiff, sore neck. That isn’t so unusual as we’ve all slipped into our new fall routines.
But, when my husband and I were strolling in the neighbourhood last week, I noticed a common trend in the recent renovations. Most of the homes in our area are about 60 years old and as the properties are sold; the new owners update and modernize their homes.
The current trend seems to be to open up the kitchen/living/dining area to make one combined family/living area. For most young families, this is a very functional design. However, as we’ve observed this trend on our evening walks, we’ve noticed that instead of art over the fireplace, these renos have huge, slim line TV’s visible from every angle, even the street, high over the mantel.
The prominent placement of the TV says a lot about the way we live our lives. If functional design is important, it is worth checking out how we match our TV use to the set up in our homes.
Few of us stand up to watch TV for any length of time. Did you know that looking up, while you are watching TV places a lot of strain on your neck and low back?
When you have your TV above your natural eye line, you’re placing extra strain on the position of the eyes, because you will have to tilt your head forward and up to see properly. Your neck and back adjust to support this forward and up head position in a way that is not natural for your body.
If you hold this position for a couple of hours every day, you may experience headaches along with neck, shoulder and back pain.
What to do?
Match the placement of the TV with the room and the way you plan to use it.
Watching TV in the Family Room?
Place your TV on a TV stand designed for sitting on the couch looking across at the TV. If you’re going to watch a couple of shows or a long movie, make sure you are sitting on the couch with your eyes lined up and directly across from the TV.
In the Kitchen or at the Kitchen Counter?
Placing the TV on the wall may work here! Just be sure that your eyes are lined up with the screen and that you are looking across or down at the screen. If you sit at the counter while you eat and watch the news, a wall mounted TV works well too.
A TV placed high on the wall works well if you plan to watch TV lying in bed because your TV will be in line with your eyes when you are lying down.
Something to Think About
Now that the family is settled back into fall routines, if you (or someone you love) have noticed an increase in headaches, difficulty sleeping or neck pain, take a moment and check out the position of your TV and digital media to make sure your head and neck are in proper alignment.
Not sure what that means? Seek professional help from a physiotherapist trained in movement and postural rehabilitation. Especially when it comes to your health, a few simple adjustments up front can save months of re-training and rehabilitation later.
If your injury is persistent, inflammation may be part of your pain. Bioflex Laser Therapy is our go-to treatment to lessen pain and inflammation and to promote the body’s natural healing processes. It is part of our physiotherapy treatments, if recommended for your best healing results.
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