Most of us don’t think about the physical damage we are doing to our bodies when we text on the phone.
You may be re-reading that last sentence to make sure you saw it correctly. Indeed, when you are looking down at your phone to read a text message, surf the web or play a game, you are putting a lot of extra pressure on your neck. That pressure could damage your spine over time.
Coined as “text neck,” this phenomenon is causing increased concern in the medical community because of its long-term side effects.
The average human head weighs 10-12 lbs. For every degree you tilt your head down, you add to that weight considerably. At 30 degrees, your head feels like it weighs 40 lbs. At 60 degrees, it feels like 60 lbs. That is a lot of extra pressure to put your spine.
The research found that people spent an average of 2-4 hours a day with their heads tilted down toward a phone or tablet. That’s an average of 700-1,400 hours a year of extra pressure on the spine. Teens are even worse, experiencing as much as 5,000 hours a year with added spinal stress.
Dr. Ken Hansraj M.D., the chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, recommends people pay more attention to their head positions while using technology in an effort to protect their necks in the future.