The digital age has presented humanity with a plethora of benefits – the World Wide Web is right at our fingertips and the smartphone has become an extension of the hand. But advances in technology are taking their toll on the human body as people spend an increasing amount of time looking down at an angle and straining the spine. It’s not just phones, either. Such strain can also be caused by computer usage, and the growing epidemic is prompting people to sit up straight and embrace the benefits of ergonomic workstations.
The Dangers Of Text Neck
Whether you realize it or not, the position of your body when using a handheld device may be causing you pain, including headaches, sore shoulders and neck cricks. After all, many people spend hours looking down at their phones and tablets, either slouching back in their chairs or leaning forward with the shoulders curved and neck bent forward. This poor posture issue, called “text neck,” is becoming a widespread epidemic that could cause permanent damage to countless people.
A 2014 study published in the National Library of Medicine looked deeper into the effects of tilting the head forward for too long. It revealed that the human head, which generally weighs about 10 pounds, puts double the weight pressure on the spine for every inch you tilt your head forward. So when you’re looking down at your phone at an angle of 30 degrees, you’re putting 40 pounds of pressure on your spine. That’s like carrying three bowling balls on your neck for hours per day.
The long-term effects are scary: By creating stress on the cervical spine, text neck can reverse the spine’s natural curvature and lead to premature wear and tear. Such degeneration is not only painful but can lead to immobility in severe cases, requiring costly and exhaustive surgery to restore function.
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