New evidence on how tech is ruining our posture
Smartphone users spend an average of 700 to 1400 hours each year looking down at their device, this forward posture places up to 27 kg of force on their neck, according to new research from the USA. The research by Spinal Surgeon Dr Kenneth Hansraj, demonstrated the impact of bending your head down to peer at a mobile device – an increasingly common health problem becoming known as ‘text neck’.
Mobile devices are a part of our lives, a point that isn’t going to change, however the way we use them needs to change. The forces required to maintain good posture are complex, but imagine balancing a bowling ball on the top of a cricket stump and you get some idea of the forces involved. Technology has become a constant for people of all ages and ‘text neck’ and the ‘iPad hunch’ are an increasingly common side-effect.
The research measured the forces placed on the neck when the head is leaned forward. In a normal standing position, an average adult head exerts about 5kg, but when the head tilts forwards at 60 degrees, the force exerted on the neck is more than 27 kg.
Chiropractors are seeing an increasing number of patients with technology induced spinal pain, fortunately these kind of studies help us explain to the community the health dangers of bad posture while texting or using iPads for some time.
This is especially the case with younger people who frequently get so absorbed in a game or a text conversation that they hunch over the device, this places a great strain upon the neck. Many young people are spending hours hunched over their device, and most importantly, at a time when their spines are still developing. As a result of this a surprising number are experiencing really unpleasant pain after too many hours bent over a screen.
On a good note, people can reduce the risk of text neck by taking regular breaks from their devices, changing the way they used devices so they didn’t hunch over to look at them.
Hansraj K.K. Assessment of stresses in the cervical spine caused by posture and position of the head. Surg.Technol. Int. 2014 Nov;25:277-9.
Contact your local CAA NT member Chiropractor today for an assessment.
Marc Cova. Insight Chiropractic
“The Avenue” Suite 103
12 Salonika Street. Parap. NT 0820
Ph. (08) 8995 9510