Currently, people suffering from VDT(Visual Display Terminal) syndrome are increasing as time spending inside prolonged and working from home and non-face-to-face lectures using electronic devices extended due to COVID-19. Then, what is a VDT syndrome? It is a collective term for diseases caused by the long use of electronic devices such as smartphones and computer monitors. Turtle neck syndrome is a typical example of VDT syndrome. It usually appears to people who are watching a screen lower than their eye sights in the wrong sitting position for hours. Since the screen is located underneath, their necks will be headed down, and if this position sustains, pain will occur as muscles in neck, shoulders and spine are pressed. Unless the pain caused by the extended muscles and ligaments is cured, it can lead people to a herniated cervical disc, which might lower a quality of life.
Then, how can we self-diagnosis the turtle neck syndrome? There are three ways to easily know whether you are suffering from it.
- It often hurts around the shoulder and neck muscles.
- When you look in the mirror, back is definitely bent.
- You easily feel tired and the frequency of headaches and dizziness is high.
If you are undergoing these symptoms, you should be careful not to get worse and to prevent it. Therefore, the Dongguk Post wants to protect your health by suggesting how to prevent turtle neck syndrome.
1. Push the neck downward with your hands
Fold your hands on the back of your head while sitting properly. Then, push the back of your head downward with hands until the chin touches the chest. Hold the posture for about 15 seconds, then slowly raise your head and rest. Repeat the same action three times.
2. Stretch your chest
Clasp your fingers behind your back. With your shoulders straight open, pull your knuckles downward. Keep the corresponding position for ten seconds and repeat it for three times. By doing this actions, you can stretch your shoulders and chest muscles that have been rolled in.
3. Use a towel to stretch your neck
Hang the towel behind your neck and hold both ends tight. In this state, bend your neck back and move it to the right and left to relax your neck muscles.
4. Adjust the screen height
Turtle neck syndrome is a pain caused by a screen below one’s view, which lowers the head forward. You can relax the neck and shoulders by raising the screen height to the eye level.
Modern people who are exposed to electronic devices for longer periods of time are vulnerable to the turtle neck syndrome. For our physical health, it is necessary to control the screen’s height and do continuous stretching to prevent it in advance.
1. Asan Medical Center, Health and Disease information website
2. Ilsan Hi Hospital website
3. Kim Hyun-sook, Chun Jong-suck, Jee Jung-woo, The posture correction effect of functional clothing to prevent turtle neck syndrome, The Research Journal of the Costume Culture Vol.24, No. 3, 2016
4. Park Jun-hyuk, Kim Jin-hong, The effects of heavy smartphone use on the cervical angle, pain threshold of neck muscles and depression, Advanced Science and Technology Letters Vol.91, 2015
5. A systematic review of stress and psychological factors as possible risk factors for periodontal disease. J Periodontol. 2007 Aug;78(8):1491-504
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