“Text neck” is like carrying 5 gallons of paint on your head

We know that smartphone use is changing our behavior. But there is evidence that our handy digital companions are also changing our bodies. 

The healthiest posture is when you stand with your ears aligned with your shoulders and your shoulder blades retracted. But that’s not what we do when we, say, walk and text. We tilt our whole head forward to focus on the screen. Call it “text neck.”

According to one study into stresses of the cervical spine, this posture creates undue pressure on your spine. And the more you bend your neck, the worse it is for your spine. So much so that a relatively modest 15-degree tilt of the head creates the equivalent of 27 pounds of pressure on your spine. That weight increases the more you tilt: 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees, and a shocking 60 pounds at 60 degrees. Which is like carrying an 8-year-old child on your head. Or a punching bag. Or 5 gallons of paint. 

Incidentally, it is estimated that people spend on average 4.7 hours daily on their smartphones. This represents the potential for more than 1,700 hours a year spent stressing out your spine. Entefy’s enFacts are illuminating nuggets of information about the intersection of communications, artificial intelligence, security and cyber privacy, and the Internet of Things. Have an idea for an enFact? We would love to hear from you.