Do you spend a lot of time reading texts and checking Facebook on your phone? If so, a leading orthopaedic surgeon says you may as well be carrying a big sack of potatoes on your head – because that’s the kind of stress you’re putting on your neck.
In a paper published in Surgical Technology International , Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, explains that the average adult head weighs between 10 to 12 pounds when standing upright but becomes heavier the more we bend our necks because of gravity.
He figures that as the head tilts forward 15 degrees, the gravitational force on the neck rises to (27 pounds). It rises to 40 pounds at 30 degrees, all the way up to 60 pounds at 60 degrees.
Given that many adults spend two to four hours a day using their phones for reading and texting, and kids spend even more time – he warns this could lead to early wear and tear of the spine and perhaps surgeries down the road.
He says the solution, is to straighten up while texting. And You don’t have to necessarily bring your device up to eye level. Your eyes have a range of motion, which allows you to look down at your phone without tilting your head. Another tip is to keep the joints limber by periodically moving your head from left to right and touching your ear to your shoulder on both sides.