As technology and modernization continue to advance, our bodies are changing in ways we never expected. One of the most common issues modern people face is turtle necks and rounded shoulders, which can lead to many physical problems. In this article, we'll explore these conditions' reasons and side effects and provide exercises to help fix them.
What are Turtle Necks and Rounded Shoulders?
Turtle necks and rounded shoulders are postural problems when the head and shoulders are unintentionally pushed forward. The neck muscles become tense and shortened, causing the chin to stick out and creating a hunched appearance. Meanwhile, the shoulders roll inward, causing the chest to sink in and the upper back to round. These postural imbalances can occur gradually for modern people, often due to prolonged sitting, poor ergonomics, or lack of exercise.
Reasons for Turtle Necks and Rounded Shoulders
There are several reasons why modern people experience turtle necks and rounded shoulders. Here are some reasons that cause:
Sitting for Long Periods
Sitting for extended periods is one of the main reasons why many people develop turtle necks and rounded shoulders. Humans have evolved as Bipedalism animals, meaning standing straight is more natural than sitting on a chair. However, when sitting for long hours, we tend to slouch forward and hunch our shoulders, which leads to poor posture and puts pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.
Using computers and other electronic devices for extended periods can lead to poor ergonomics, exacerbating the problem of turtle necks and rounded shoulders. Poor ergonomics can include unbalancing between chair height and desk, wrong monitor height or angle, and improper keyboard placement.
Lack of Exercise
Of course, in modern society, we have buried ourselves in tons of work, so it's not easy to spare time to exercise. But you should know that lack of exercise contributes to turtle necks and rounded shoulders. The neck and shoulder muscles can become weak and tense without proper training.
Side Effects of Turtle Necks and Rounded Shoulders
Turtle necks and rounded shoulders can lead to a wide range of side effects, including:
Back and Neck Pain: One of the most common side effects of turtle necks and rounded shoulders is back and neck pain because the forward head posture that often accompanies these conditions puts much strain on the neck and shoulders muscles and upper back, which also lead to chronic pain and discomfort.
Reduced Range of Motion: Turtle necks and rounded shoulders can also lead to a reduced range of motion in the shoulders and neck. This can make it difficult to perform everyday activities like reaching overhead or turning your head.
Increased Risk of Injuries: Poor posture can also increase your risk of injuries, especially if you participate in activities that require a lot of movement or force, like sports or weightlifting. This is because poor posture can cause muscle and joint imbalances, making them more prone to injuries.
Breathing Problems: Poor posture can also lead to breathing problems, especially with a forward head posture. This is because the position of your head can compress your airways and make it difficult to take deep breaths.
Reducing Confidence: Poor posture can also affect your mental state, making you feel less confident and self-assured. Good posture is related to confidence and assertiveness, while poor posture can make you appear weak and unsure.
Increasing Stress level: Poor posture can also lead to increased stress levels, as it can cause tension and discomfort in the muscles and joints. This can make it more challenging to relax and hard to manage stress.
Exercises to Fix Turtle Necks and Rounded Shoulders
Fortunately, several exercises can help fix turtle necks and rounded shoulders.
Chin tucks can help strengthen the neck muscles and improve posture. To perform chin tucks, tuck your chin towards your chest and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat 10-15 times.
Shoulder Blade Squeezes
Shoulder blade squeezes are another excellent exercise for improving posture and fixing the rounded shoulder. To perform this exercise, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat 10-15 times.
Wall angels are a great exercise for strengthening the upper back muscles and improving posture. To perform wall angels, stand with your back against a wall and slowly raise your arms up and down, keeping your elbows and wrists against the wall. Repeat the movement for 10-15 repetitions.
Neck stretches can help alleviate tension and tightness in the neck muscles. To perform neck stretches, gently tilt your head to the side and hold for a few seconds before releasing. Repeat on the other side and perform 10-15 repetitions.
Shoulder rolls can help relieve tension in the shoulder muscles and improve posture. Roll your shoulders forward and backward for 10-15 repetitions to perform shoulder rolls.
Turtle necks and rounded shoulders are common postural problems that can lead to various physical issues. However, with proper exercise and attention to ergonomics, it's possible to improve posture and alleviate the side effects of these conditions. Incorporating exercises like chin tucks, shoulder blade squeezes, wall angels, neck stretches, and shoulder rolls into your daily routine can improve your posture and prevent physical problems in the future. The most important thing is awareness of your posture problem and your intention to fix them.