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Text Neck: Is Your Smartphone Destroying your Spine?  

“Text Neck” is a real thing. Your smartphones and tabs put THREE times as much strain on your neck as desktop PCs

Published
Fit
2 min read
Text Neck: Is Your Smartphone Destroying your Spine?  

So what’s your body position while you’re reading this?

Are you slumping in your chair or hunched over with your neck sticking out like a turtle? Chances are your neck and shoulders feel sore.

Don’t just dismiss it as everyday fatigue. Doctor’s say that 80% office-goers are complaining of a neck or back ache. And there is a name for it : Text Neck or the iPad Neck.

It is not the first time you have been warned about the dangers of too much time on your smartphones
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What is the Text Neck Doing To You?

On an average, the human head weighs about 5 kgs . But when you start fiddling with your phones or tabs, you automatically hunch over. Now this puts more pressure on the spine.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that when your neck is bent at a 15% angle, your head puts a pressure of 12 kgs on your spine, that’s more than double of what it actually weighs. At a 30 degree it is 18 kgs, and at 60 degrees the pressure increases to 27 kgs!

Do you know what 27kgs of weight feels like? Imagine a 12 year old wrapped around your neck for several hours a day! Crazy, right?

Look around you, everyone has their head down and this has doctors worried (Photo: National Library of Medicine)

The study concluded that for every inch the head tilts forward, the pressure on the spine doubles.

Doctors warn that overtime this posture will flatten out the natural curve of your neck putting more strain on your disc. Eventually the wear and tear of the spine may affect it’s functioning and even require corrective surgery.

It’s not just the neck and spine that are suffering.

The poor posture reduces your respiratory capacity by 30%, that is your ability to take in air. So if you aren’t getting enough air in your lungs, all those organs in your body will also not get enough oxygen.

And the excessive smartphone use is known to give you the digital eye strain as well.

Tips

Be aware of your body when you’re on your gadgets.

You can scroll down your device with your eyes, there is no need to bend the neck along with it.

Switch to a computer or place your tab at an angle on a standing desk if you have to use it for too long.

Keep your spine in a neutral position.

Exercise. Move your head from left to right several times a day.

For Android users, there is an app - Text Neck Indicator. This gives you a green light when your viewing position is fine, the moment you hunch, the light goes red!

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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