Texting Puts 60 Pounds of Weight on Your Neck

Researchers warn of possible need for future surgery
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2014 1:43 PM CST
Texting Puts 60 Pounds of Weight on Your Neck
In this photo taken on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, people wait outside an Apple store in Hong Kong.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

Your Facebook-checking, constant-texting lifestyle may be taking a toll on your neck. Looking down at your phone can put a strain on your neck equivalent to the weight of 60 pounds, a study finds. To put that in perspective, 60 pounds is the weight of an 8-year-old or four bowling balls, the Atlantic reports. That's if you're leaning forward at a 60-degree angle; at 45 degrees, it's 49 pounds, while at 30 degrees, it's 40 pounds. Even at a 15-degree angle, you might as well be carrying 27 pounds of weight.

That's because a human head weighs 10 to 12 pounds, and tilting it forward increases gravity's pull on it. All that tilting is, unsurprisingly, not good for your spine, researchers say after making their findings using a computer model of a spine. "These [cervical spine] stresses," they write, "may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries." Their advice, per CBS News: "While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over." (25% of us admit to texting in the bathroom, and that's not all.)

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