Do you have ‘text neck’ syndrome?
Whether you’re trying to get to the next level of Angry Birds, or having an emoji-filled text conversation with your friends, looking at your smartphone for long periods of time could be doing serious damage to your neck.
As we tend to hold our phones at chest or waist height, we tilt our heads forward to be able to see the screen. This isn’t so bad if you’re just checking the occasional message or weather update, but with smartphone users spending an estimated two to four hours a day looking down at their phones – equivalent to one or two months a year – the problem gets much worse.
The average human head weighs around 5.4 kilograms (12 pounds), but when it is angled downwards, the effective weight applied to your spine increases. This can put an enormous amount of stress on your neck, shortening and tightening the muscles and compressing the nerves to cause intense pain and spasms.
Doctors recommend taking regular texting breaks and doing neck stretches, or even switching to making phone calls instead.
Discover more amazing science in the latest issue of How It Works magazine. It’s available from all good retailers, or you can order it online from the ImagineShop. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can also download the digital version onto your iOS or Android device. To make sure you never miss an issue of How It Works magazine, make sure you subscribe today!
Plus, take a look at:
Why are giraffe’s necks so tall?