Heads-Up! ‘Text Neck’ is Taking its Toll On Our Spines
In the fast-evolving digital world of today – where there is ALWAYS a new gadget in the pipeline ready to be released – the majority of us would be lost without our portal to the universe and all those whom inhibit it, otherwise known as our mobile phones.
In the 21st Century, it seems that there is nothing more important to the modern person’s survival, than having a mobile phone scratching away in their back pocket. For years we have heard reports on how mobile phones are damaging our mental and physical health, yet we continuously turned a blind eye.
Mobile phones have said to cause headaches, insomnia, loss of productivity, memory loss, repetitive strain injury and possibly even cancer. Now recent studies prove that we can add spinal damage to this long list of pitfalls that come with having a mobile phone.
The spinal damage caused by mobile phone abuse has been dubbed the ‘text neck’, another term coined from the oh-so public affection with our mobile devices, ‘buffer face’ and ‘selfie’ being others.
The Burden of Staring at Your Mobile Phone
The National Library of Medicine reports that slumping over your mobile phone for hours on end, can build unnecessary pressure and result in long-lasting back problems. This is becoming a huge problem, as the average mobile phone user spends several hours a day reading and messaging others.
A further study carried by Surgical Technology International showed that the average adult head weighs between 10 to 12 pounds, and by tilting this 14 degrees forward will increase the force on the cervical spine to 27 pounds. If this isn’t shocking enough, when you tilt your head at a 60 degree angle you put an extra 60 pound on the top of your spine, the average weight of a seven year-old.
The typical mobile phone user spends 2 to 4 hours a day tilted over their phone reading and texting. This equals 700 to 1,400 hours a year excess stress to the cervical spine. This could result to degeneration and surgeries required.
Stop the Crunch
To avoid developing a ‘text neck’ you should look at your mobile phone with your eyes down and not your head. The proper upper spine posture is to align your ears with your shoulders and keep your shoulder blades back.