Your phone is breaking your back.
The human neck is usually just fine supporting your 10-pound head. It doesn’t do so well, though, when you spend your entire day looking down at that precious screen, which is the equivalent of wearing a 60-pound necklace, according to a new article in Surgical Technology International.
That statistic if for the most extreme texters—the people who bring their faces down to the phones in their hands, tilting their necks 60 degrees forward. Still, there’s bad news for the rest of us, too. The force exerted on the neck while using a smartphone ranges from 27 pounds with the neck tilted forward 15 degrees to 49 pounds when you lean forward 45 degrees.
Kenneth Hansraj, the spinal surgeon who conducted the study, came up with those numbers after manipulating computer models of the human neck. His basic conclusion is that putting the spine under so much force for many hours a day—between two and four on average—could be surprisingly damaging. “These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries,” he writes.
The simplest solution, of course, would be to throw out smartphone or start using it considerably less. But that’s not going to happen. So in lieu of going analog, Hansraj says the best fix is trying to maintain good posture while looking at your phone. As anyone who’s ever been to dinner with a bunch of phone-addicted yuppies knows, that last piece of advice has more benefits than just saving someone’s neck.
Via The Atlantic.