Northampton uni student aims to cure 'text neck' with launch of ingenious new app

Joshua Taylor invented the Chin Up mobile phone app to help people suffering from neck and back injuries caused by hunching over their phones.
Joshua Taylor invented the Chin Up mobile phone app to help people suffering from neck and back injuries caused by hunching over their phones.

A University of Northampton student has come up with an ingenious solution to prevent mobile phone users suffering from ‘text neck’.

Joshua Taylor was suffering from aches and pains in his neck when using his mobile, and after some research discovered his posture was responsible for what is now known as 'text neck syndrome'.

Josh said that doctors have told him how 'text neck' is becoming a common occurrence.

Josh said that doctors have told him how 'text neck' is becoming a common occurrence.

Text neck describes the neck pain and damage sustained from looking down at your phone, tablet and other devices too frequently and for too long.

Joshua, a product design undergraduate at the University, had a flash of inspiration which has led to him designing a phone case that alerts users when their posture needs correcting, which in turn, prevents the risk of text neck.

His Chin Up case uses the phone’s in-built gyroscope to determine how the user is holding their phone, and lights up in red or green, depending on whether the posture is harmful or correct. Josh has also designed an app, which works in conjunction with the case.

The app tracks the user’s posture, to alert them to any potentially harmful phone use, and also displays information about simple neck exercises that the user can carry out to alleviate any muscle strain and pain.

The Chin Up case and app were developed during Josh's product design course.

The Chin Up case and app were developed during Josh's product design course.

Joshua, who comes from Binley, Coventry, said: “It’s not surprising that so many people suffer from text neck – you just have to take a look around and you’ll spot countless people hunched over their phones, not knowing their posture is causing them physical problems.

“I spoke to a chiropractor as part of my research and they confirmed this is a growing problem, with people coming to them with aches and pains from rolling their shoulders forward and slouching.

“Text neck can weaken muscles in the front of the neck, and the chiropractor recommends certain exercises to build their strength back up. I wanted to incorporate that information into my app, as I was keen to ensure it didn’t just alert people to the problem, but offered a way of recovering from it too. But by making people instantly aware of poor posture, I hope the case and the app will help people to break the habit entirely.”