You know what’s annoying? Being told you’re on your phone too much. Okay sure, you can make the case that our smart phones can sometimes disconnect us from people and the reality around us, but the fact of the matter is that this little handheld computer has the ability to draw upon the world’s wealth of knowledge in an instant. They’re like Star Trek data pads; that’s way too awesome to put down.
That said, the crick in my neck is telling me something different. A recent study by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, has shown that the gravitational pull on your head when looking down at your phone is exerting multiple pounds of force that can lead to pain and spinal injuries.
The findings circle back to the well-known idea that proper posture is the best position for your spine and helps prevent early wear and tear in the area. Phones are uniquely situated in that almost anyone is forced to look down for a better perspective of their screen.
The study found that simply tilting your head 60 degrees downward puts at least 60 pounds of force on your cervical spine, more weight than an average seven-year-old.
In fact, even a minor degree amount of tilting was discovered to place a surprising amount of force on the spine in terms of pressure. Even a tilt of 15 degrees equaled close to 30 pounds of pressure.
The authors of the study surmised that weight on the spine increases dramatically when flexing the head at various degrees. This extra weight leads to incrementally increased stresses on the spine they mentioned could lead to early wear and tear as well as spinal surgeries.
As always, the doctor recommends maintaining proper posture. Aside from looking more attractive and tall, and, well, super confident, multiple studies have shown that a proper posture helps your spine and actually elevates the levels of testosterone and serotonin in your body.
So sure, maybe look up a little. Couldn’t hurt, right?