Yes, There’s a Correct Posture for Watching TV in Bed
You have some delicious snacks. The lights are turned down low. You’ve got your favorite fuzzy blanket and plenty of pillows. You have everything you need to slay an entire season of your favorite show in one night. Or do you? You might be missing one of the most important parts of watching TV in bed — the right posture! Learn about the correct posture for watching TV in bed without hurting your back — or dropping your snacks.
Find the Best Position
It might sound obvious, but the way you position yourself in your bed while taking in copious amounts of Netflix and carbs is the key to avoiding back or neck pain. The most important thing to note? Don’t watch TV while lying down.
According to Dr. Norman Marcus, founder of the Norman Marcus Pain Institute, when you lift your head to view the screen, you create contractions. Those contractions can put strain on your muscles which in turn causes back and neck pain. Instead of lying down, the best posture for watching TV in bed is to sit up with your knees bent, and support your back with your headboard. If you’re feeling fancy, support your back even more by placing a lumbar roll or rolled towel behind your lower back.
The position of your TV is also important, as you don’t want to have to rotate or wrench your neck or back around to see the screen. If possible, position the TV directly in front of you, ideally around mid-vision height.
Take Breaks and Move Around
It’s also important to change your position at regular intervals and to get up and move around every so often — we’re talking every 30 minutes or so. Any time you stay in any position for too long, it puts stress on your postural muscles, which are the deep muscles in your abdomen, pelvis, and back.
Even if it’s only briefly getting up and walking around the bedroom for a few minutes, this at least gives your muscles a chance to stretch out and recover their strength and flexibility. According to a study in Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting for long periods of time with no movement could shorten your lifespan. However, you can reduce that risk by pausing your show every 15-30 minutes and doing a couple of laps around the bedroom.
Stream and Stretch
To go along with getting up and moving around, it’s also helpful to incorporate stretching throughout your TV binge watching — especially if you notice that your back and neck are getting sore. In general, try to stretch in the opposite direction of how you had been positioning your body.
For example, if you were slumping or rounding your shoulders, stand up, clasp your hands behind your back, and keep your elbows straight. From that position, tilt up your sternum and stretch which can help alleviate pressure and stress across the top part of your torso.
If you’re feeling strain in your neck from looking in one direction for so long, try moving your head and neck around in all directions. Start by looking as far as you can over your left shoulder, and then do the same thing for your right. Alternately, keep looking forward and then bend your head down to each shoulder respectively.
Upgrade Your Bed
If you want to watch TV in bed without hurting your back, it’s critical to choose the right mattress. In fact, your mattress and bed could be getting in the way of optimum TV watching, and investing in a good mattress can reduce back pain by 57 percent, according to studies in the National Library of Medicine.
While it’s important to choose a mattress that’s tailored to your specific needs — like firm, soft, memory foam, spring coiled, etc. — there’s also no reason you can’t spoil yourself a little bit, too. You can go beyond the mattress and spring for top-of-the-line bedroom furnishings, such as a Queen Bed that features Bluetooth streaming speakers, a reading light, and armrests with cup holders.