When is the last time you thought about how you walked? You’ve been doing it for so long, so naturally, that it seems impossible it could be contributing to neck pain.
But it could.
A lifetime of bad walking habits might be contributing to your sore neck. But with a little work and some slight adjustments, you could leave neck pain behind.
Setting your gaze 10 to 20 feet ahead is one of the best ways to take the pressure off the neck. Walking with your chin tucked or fixing your eye on the ground directly in front of you means your neck is continuously stressed with the weight of your head.
Peer to the ground occasionally with your eyes while keeping the head erect.
Keeping your shoulders level and square can also add support for your neck. When your body is aligned for each step, with your butt tucked and shoulders square, you reduce the likelihood of slouching. Your body should essentially form a straight line.
Keeping arms bent is another component of walking to reduce neck pain. Keep them bent around 90, so they swing near waist level.
Some other things to consider include coming down on your heel and lifting off your toe, taking shorter steps, and using cross-body straps and purses, or using both shoulder straps on a backpack.
Walking posture might not seem like it can play a big role in how your neck feels, but it might. So, keep your head up, your body aligned, and take shorter steps that suit your natural stride.
Combined with spending more time upright and limiting screen time, examining your walking habits can be another component for reducing joint pain and enhancing the quality of life.