Are you on Facebook surfing right now? Or perhaps chatting with your friend via your phone? If you are then stop for a while and check yourself, you looking down at your phone and that very posture that you have can force up to 60 pounds of unnecessary stress on your spine.
On the average, people go slumped with their smartphones between two to four hours a day. For some extreme cases, the average can be up to 10 hours. And that awkward position can bring both temporary and long lasting damage to your spine according to a study by Surgical Technology International journal.
Your adult head on the average weights about 10 to 12 pounds, and that is also the same weight of the pressure put to your spine when you are sitting or standing upright with a perfect posture (that means you’re head is not tilted down and your back not slouched). Tilting your head multiplies the apparent weight that your spine needs to support and this pressure isn’t doing you any good.
According to the study, tilting your head 15 degrees forward would increase the amount of stress to 27 pounds. Tilt 30 degrees and it becomes 40 pounds. Tilt 45 degrees and it becomes 49 pounds and if you move even further and tilt your head 60 degrees, it becomes 60 pounds. The worse news is a lot of people tilt their head at 60 degrees in order to focus on their smartphones.
Kenneth K. Hansraj, M.D., chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine and author of the study noted that the practice has a lot of negative effects. Not only can that cause a literal pain in your neck, but it also puts stress on your muscles, tendons, and ligaments,” wrote Hansraj.
But it’s not the end for Facebook and text lovers, as a little adjustment can make a big difference. Our expert recommends always having proper posture, and that means to your shoulder blades and your shoulders aligned and your back in neutral position. This might put a little stress on your arms for lifting your smartphone higher but hey that’s the reason these gadgets are becoming lighter.