Did you know texting can add 49lbs of stress on your spine and nervous system?*
The average adult head weighs 10-12 pounds when it’s upright or in a neutral position. Tilting your head forward (flexion) just 15° puts 27lbs of pressure on your spine; 30° flexion is equal to 40lbs, and 60° (the position you’re in when you’re scrutinising that selfie before you post it on Instagram!) puts 60lbs of stress on your cervical spine. That's the same weight as FIVE BOWLING BALLS!
According to researchers, good posture is defined as “ears aligned with the shoulders, and the shoulder blades retracted”.
Studies have also found poor posture is associated with:
- a reduction in testosterone levels
- a reduction in serotonin (the happy hormone)
- an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone)
On average a person spends 2-4 hours a day reading and texting; the average teenager may spend 3 x as many hours in that flexed position equating to nearly 5000 hours in poor posture per year.
How do I prevent text neck?
- Change how you hold your phone - bring the screen to eye leve
- Take a break - frequent breaks from the screen can help, even for a few minutes every half hour. Set reminders on your phone if you have to.
- Stretch! - Simply move your head in a “plus sign (+)” fashion
- If you experience prolonged aches or pain, see a Chiropractor - A 2003 study in the BMJ showed chiropractic care as a major nonpharmaceutical therapy for neck pain, resulting in faster recovery than physiotherapy and pain medication
*Hansraj, K. (2014) Assessment of stresses in the cervical spine caused by posture and position of the head. New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine 25:277-9
Dr Christina Edwards DC
Doctor of Chiropractic