Smartphone addict? Have you got text neck?

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Not only do we have to worry about our posture when seated (slumped) at our desk but our attachment to our smartphone – texting, uploading pictures, checking our social media status, when standing or walking around can become an actual pain in the neck with longterm physical consequences for our posture and more.
We’re obsessed with our smartphone, a new study has found. The heaviest smartphone users click, tap or swipe on their phone 5,427 times a day, according to researcher Dscout. That’s the top 10 percent of users, so one would expect it to be excessive. However, the rest of us still touch the addictive things 2,617 times a day on average.
When we use our smartphone most people have a very slight hunch to their upper spine? Tom Whipple comments: “In the 20th century we had housemaid’s knee and miner’s cough – or, if you were from a different social stratum, tennis elbow. Now it seems there is a new work affliction for a new age, and no-one is immune. It is born of a peculiarly modern habit: walking along the street, head down, checking messages” and goes by the name of text neck.

  • If you consider the average human head weighs 10 to 11 pounds. That is about 8 percent of the weight of a human body. As the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the spine begins to increase. 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. That’s heavy and over time our bodies will become bent out of shape.

Headache anyone? That’s not the only issue that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day. Over time, text neck can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery.

Perhaps what was known as dowagers hump (a phrase I particularly hate) could be renamed as silicon hump in homage to Silicon Valley? In the meantime, put the phone down folks.

References:
www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/11/20/text-neck-is-becoming-an-epidemic
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Kyphosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/health/news/article4275071.ece