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'Text neck' really is wrecking your spine

'Text neck' really is wrecking your spine
NEW YORK SPINE SURGERY & REHABILITATION MEDICINE

Gadgets are great. But, not all that glitters is gold. Our digital gadgets have a downside, too - they can be dangerous to your health.

I've told you before how your gadgets could be wrecking your eyesight with digital eye strain, they could be ruining your sleep cycles and there always the threat of using your gadgets behind the wheel. 

Well, here's another one to add to the list: Your posture. Your trusted smartphone or tablet could be doing irreparable damage to your spine.

Yes, "text neck" is a thing and it could cause you a lot of pain over the years.

A new study from Surgical Technology International found that looking down at a smartphone or tablet is equivalent of putting a 60-pound weight on your neck. That's a lot of bowling balls - about four of them to be exact.

How did researches come up with these numbers? Well, according to the study, the human head weighs between 10 to 12 pounds. Tilting your head certain angles will add gravitational pull, which is where the weight comes from.

See the diagram below to see what I mean:

text neck

Kenneth Hansraj, a New York back surgeon and one of the study's co-authors, notes:

As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees," Hansraj writes in the paper. ... Unless you train yourself to stare straight ahead into your iPhone screen, you could be continually stressing your spine. "These stresses," Hansraj writes, "may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries."

So what  can you do to prevent text neck? The first bit of advice is to simply put the gadgets down, but that's not always gonna happen. Click here to see my tips on how to avoid common tech health problems, including text neck and digital eye strain.

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Source: The Atlantic
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