You may not be aware of it but your daily routine of texting, checking your social media accounts, answering email and consuming data through your mobile can wreck your spine.
It is a fact that the human head weighs about a dozen pounds. Bend your neck forward and down (the way people usually do when checking their phone) and the weight increases, adding more pressure on the cervical spine. Look down at your phone at a 15-degree angle and the weight is about 27 pounds. At 30 degrees, it increases to 40 pounds. At 45 degrees, the weight increases even more to 49 pounds and at 60 degrees, the weight goes all the way up to 60 pounds.
So what’s the big deal? Just imagine an 8 year old carrying around that weight on his neck for several hours per day. While you may no longer be a child, this still affects you. Smartphone users tend to spend 2 to 4 hours on their phone per day. Since Filipinos are very social and tend to be on Facebook or Instagram more, we can assume that we are on our phones far longer than that. Just imagine the amount of stress we put on our spine for hours daily. Research proves that over time, poor posture due to “text neck” can lead to faster wear and tear and degeneration of the spine.
The “text neck” is in a way, already an epidemic. Look around you and you will most probably see people with their heads down as they use their phone.
So what can you do to avoid the “text neck”?
- Be mindful when you use your phone. It may seem inconvenient but do your spine a favor and hold your phone up, closer to the level of your eyes, and avoid bending your neck too much.
- Exercise and move your head from left to right every now and then. You can also try standing in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to help your posture.
We all love technology and recognize the many benefits we get from it daily. We also know the importance of having your smartphone handy so go ahead and use it – just make sure you watch your posture while doing it.