Think about it: Over the course of an entire day, you probably spend at least two hours hunched over your Smartphone, sending texts and firing off emails. When you add it up, that’s 700 hours per year with your neck bent at an unnatural angle — and that’s exactly why your back is hurting, according to a new study published by CBS News.
Research on this subject from Kenneth Hansraj, MD, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, in
Poughkeepsie, New York, will be published in Surgical Technology International. His study found that when you bend your head at a 60-degree angle to get a better look at your screen you’re putting 60 pounds of pressure on your cervical spine (that portion of the spine above the shoulders).
Study authors say that there’s a dramatic increase in the weight on the spine when flexing the head forward, and that “loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses that may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possible surgeries.”
Researchers also say that good posture — ears aligned with the shoulders and the shoulder blades retracted — is key to good physical and emotional health. Poor posture has been linked to a number of medical problems, including headaches, depression, constipation, and heart disease. Constant slouching is very likely to lead to chronic back pain.
The solution is pretty easy, at least in theory. Dr. Hansraj advises people to try to view their phones with a neutral, not hunched, spine — and to try to avoid spending hours every day bent over your phone.