Photo Credit: media.npr.org
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we’re probably all guilty of text neck. Sure, it sounds pretty bogus, but our smartphone and tablet addicted society has most of us constantly looking down with our faces glowing from the brightness of our screens.
While many anti-technology advocates have protested in the past that these little devices are wreaking havoc on our eyes and ears, there’s actually more of a problem lurking beneath. One that can cause some serious damage in both the short and long run (think: neck pain, tension and back pain).
Here’s what’s happening:
Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, a leading spinal and orthopedic surgeon studying and researching the negative effects text neck can have on our body, explains that we could be putting almost 60 pounds of extra strain on our necks.
But how could your head possibly weigh 60 pounds? Well, here’s the breakdown according to Dr. Hansraj:
“At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.”
Normally, our heads only weigh about twelve pounds. For every inch we decide to deviate from our neutral position, the weight of our head increases dramatically. Therefore, by the time you’re in text neck mode, your head has almost quintupled (that’s 5x the weight it should be)!
According to the Washington Post, that’s equivalent to the weight of carrying an average 8-year old on your neck!
Think about the extra strain your spine is now enduring just to accommodate our smartphone obsessed lifestyles.
Here’s what you can do:
According to my amazing chiropractor, we (as a society) need to adjust our necks whenever we find ourselves in text neck position.
So if you’re stuck looking at your phone or tablet, make sure you bring the object directly in front of your face instead of looking down at it.
Sure, it’s going to look weird at first and will certainly feel uncomfortable at times, but it has to be better than eventually turning into a modern day Quasimodo.
I never understood why someone would pay to have their laptop on a stand. I mean seriously, how rich are you?
Well, it has nothing to do with being fancy and everything to do with keeping you healthy.
Ranging anywhere from $15-$45, you can prop your laptop up and save your neck and back some future, unnecessary pain.
Whatever it takes, you need to stop looking down.