‘Text Neck’

Billions of people are now bent over their smartphones (notice that they never say ‘Smart-People?). The perils of texting include accidents, exposure to EMF radiation, unconsciousness, and new to our growing list is ‘text neck’.

According to Dr. Kenneth Hansraj (New York spinal surgeon’s study on the effects of a forward-tilted head posture on your cervical spine performed a study in the Surgical Technology International in November 2014), ‘The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries. 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 avoid spending hours each day hunched over.’

Envision placing your elbow on a table while balancing the weight of a bowling ball in the same hand. Similarly, your head weighs about 12 pounds, and if you spend a significant amount of time hunched over with your head fixed forward and down as when surfing, texting, emailing, or gaming. In Dr. Hansraj’s study, determined that, when you bend your head forward at 15 degrees, its weight effectively increases from 12 pounds to 27 pounds. At 45 degrees, your head exerts 49 pounds of force, and at 60 degrees, 60 pounds (this is like six sacks of potatoes loading on your neck!).

This forward head translation posture has also been linked to headaches, neurological problems and heart disease. That is unfortunate since it is somewhat simple to undertake a proper natural posture with your neck. Keep your chin up at 45 degrees, which puts your head over your shoulders and causes your chest to move forward.

– Lawrence Woods