Look around as you sit at the café or as you walk into work. How many heads do you see angled down at their smartphones? The human head weighs about 12 lbs, but as the head angles forward and down the force on the neck begins to increase exponentially. At a 15 degree angle the head weighs 27lbs., 30 degrees 40lbs, 45 degrees 49lbs, and 60 degrees 60lbs.1
Times have changed.
Just a few years ago most parents were worrying about their teens’ posture as a result of carrying heavy backpacks home from school. While this is still a concern, there is a new phenomenon impacting teens’ posture, and it goes by the name of “text neck.”
Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. In fact, data from SimilarWeb shows that within two days of the app’s launch, Pokémon GO was being used for an average of 43 minutes and 23 seconds a day, which is higher than time spent on popular apps like Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger.
Take a look at any group of people and you will, without fail, see a few of them with their cell phones out, heads lowered, and shoulders rolled forward – temporarily hunchbacked because of an incoming text. Any physical therapist, athletic trainer, or physician can tell you that that type of posture (text neck) can lead to a wide range of injuries in the neck, back, shoulders, and arms. Now I’m not advocating abandoning texting and moving to a Bluetooth headset-only society/dystopia. I’m also not saying we should eschew cell phones like a grizzled hermit, angrily shaking our fists at anything that plugs in. I just want you to be aware of what you’re predisposing yourself to and what you can do to help counteract the effects of text-neck. So here are a couple of key things to think about the next time you pull out your cell phone. (more…)