New research suggests that constantly tilting one’s neck downward to text on a smartphone can result in dangerous neck strain.
Using computer modeling, surgeon Ken Hansraj found that a head bowed at only a 15-degree angle adds about 27 pounds of pressure to the spine. When a person looks down at a 60-degree angle, as one would in order to stare at a hand-held phone while texting or surfing, the spine strain increases to an incredible 60 pounds, about the equivalent weight of four bowling balls. This can cause neck cramps, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and early spinal degeneration. “Just look around,” Hansraj told WashingtonPost.com “Everyone has their heads down.”
So texting can be long-term harmful to those of us addicted to cell phones. (Who these days is not?)
And we all know texting or phoning or surfing while driving can be short-term lethal. There are thousands of highway deaths and many thousands more maimings every year as proof.
But who among us is willing to stop texting and surfing under any circumstances? Or at least willing to cut down on the most inane messaging? Even considering the potential cost of our lives if we don’t?
Sadly, nobody I know.