A huge part of our day goes into surfing the web, replying to tweets, taking selfies or texting on our smartphone. Now, a new research paper reveals that slumping to read a text or study a selfie can put undue pressure on the neck. Also Read - 5 tips to keep in mind before buying a second-hand smartphone
According to the research, the weight on the cervical spine (part of the spine above the shoulders) bent at a 15-degree angle is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, and at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds. Furthermore, when you bend your head at a 60 degree angle to look at a phone screen, it puts 60 pounds – or 27kg – worth of pressure on the cervical spine. Also Read - Upcoming smartphones to look out for (January 2021 Edition)
The paper says that at more than four stone in weight, that is heavier than the average seven year old and if prolonged heavy use of smartphone continues, the extra pressure put on the neck will lead to early wear and tear and the person may eventually need surgery. Also Read - 5 tech gift ideas for Christmas and New Year
Led by Dr Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, researchers found that the cervical spine could also lose its ‘natural curve due to the increased stress on the neck, and are calling this condition “Text Neck.”
“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over,” the paper concludes.
The researchers put stress on the benefits of good posture and recommend smartphone addicts to keep it down a notch, and practice upright postures at work. They also suggest eating fish at least once a week and to smile often for positive ‘facial posture’.