It’s not uncommon for our generation suffering from back pain even in our 20s. We mostly blame our PCs and workstations for our bad postures. A recent study shows that smartphones might just be the main culprit!
While we are using our cell phone, we tend to slouch and enjoy the feed on the screen. I hardly have seen someone maintaining straight posture while using the smartphone.
So, how does that affect our bodies?
While slouching, the weight of the head can multiply two to three times. If you are reading this article on your phone while standing or sitting, it is likely that you are tilting your head a bit forward and leaning down on the screen!
Come on, sit straight!
Let’s check how much damage you are doing to your neck and spine.
Our heads are supported by the spine, cervical muscles, tendons, and ligaments. An average human head typically weighs about 10 to 11 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg). So, by design, the supporting elements should carry that weight with ease.
The supporting elements can even take the higher weight but will sustain damage. As per the study, our heads weigh about 20 to 30 pounds, which is very high.
Our head supporting columns struggle badly as we use our cell phones for about three hours every day.
Now, you know that smartphone usage can hurt our neck and spine. But how much damage is actually happening?
Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, Head of Spine Surgery, working at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, conducted a computer simulation to dig deeper into the matter. He published an article on Surgical Technology International, stating his findings.
Teenagers are most at risk as they spend more time on their smart devices than older people. That’s why you are seeing so many youngsters suffering from back and neck pain these days.
Yes, the memes are true! So, what’s the solution here? We can’t just stop using our cell phones, can we?
Well, if you don’t want to suffer from back pain so much, you might just have to maintain a better posture. It’s the only way! Dr. Hansraj suggests, “In proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished. It is the most efficient position for the spine.” There are some habitual changes that can help you get over the pain –
Don’t use your cell phones to finish off works that you can perform with your computer.
Design your workstation ergonomically to minimize stress.
While using your cell phone, lean your head up as much as possible. You should raise your phone instead of leaning down.
Take a break every once in a while, using your phone. A 20-second break every five minutes can help you a lot.