There is a new phenomenon that’s bothering some experts and it’s called the “Text neck.” A very common condition that could become an epidemic, the text neck is where the spine gets affected due to bending forward to check and read something on the smartphone that eventually leads to poor posture.
A spine surgeon named Kenneth Hansraj who is based in New York discussed about the purported spine condition that is related to frequent texting. A new study that has been published in Surgical Technology International supports Hansraj’s claim. According to the study, whenever you text, you are adding more pounds of pressure on your spine. The amount of pressure depends on the angle at which you are texting. This is attributed to the increased stress that could result to gradual damage of the cervical spine’s natural curve.
The Smartphone Habit
On average, people use their smartphones at least two to four hours every day. However, there are some who use it for about 10 hours and they do so without caring about their position, which is usually awkward. Unfortunately, your spine is not thankful for what you are doing. This can lead to temporary spine damage or worse, a long-lasting injury because you go slumped with your phone, while you forget about proper posture.
The Adult Head
The average adult head is about 10 to 12 pounds in weight. It is the same amount of pressure that you apply on your spine whenever you sit or stand upright. As long as it is the perfect posture – head and back are straight – your spine is just fine. However, whenever you tilt your head, you are adding more pressure to your spine. When this becomes a habit, you already know that this will not give you positive outcomes.
As described in the mentioned study, when you tilt your head 15 degrees forward, this adds 27 pounds of stress. Most people though, bend much further up to 60 degrees forward, so that they can focus on their smartphones. This is equivalent to putting 60 pounds of pressure on your spine.
Humans are supposed to stand upright. But the modern world seems to create more ways for people to stop being concerned about their posture. One of the reasons is starting at the smartphone screen. While it is not bad to keep texting, you should do so with the recommended posture with your shoulders and shoulder blades aligned and your back in straight position.