Have you ever heard of ‘text neck’? This is basically what you can end up with from tilting your head forward and down in order to look at your mobile phone. Many people have no idea how detrimental this can be to the back, but it can actually double or even triple the weight of your head and can strain your neck, therefore causing text neck.
Usually, the adult human head weighs 10-12 pounds, as the angle of your head moves, the neck muscles, tendons, and ligaments supporting the head can become strained as the head becomes heavier. A 15-degree tilt causes the head to way around 27 pounds due to neck strain, 30 degrees forward equals around a 40-pound head due to strain, and the greater the angle, the greater the strain with 45 degrees equalling 49 pounds of strain, and 60 degrees equalling 60 pounds of strain. The additional stress on your neck may also be felt in the upper back, shoulders, and even the arms, and can even cause muscle spasms. Even more serious, this can eventually lead to spinal degeneration that may require surgery.
Not only can this affect your back, it can also affect your body internally as having bad posture restricts the expansion of your lungs, meaning with less oxygen, the heart needs to pump harder. Slouching can also affect your memory, is connected to headaches and depression, and is also linked to heart disease and neurological problems.
The first and main step to preventing this is by making good posture a habit, meaning your head should be upright, your ears in line with your shoulders, and your shoulder blades are down and retracted. Your weight should also be kept on both feet, with knees and hips in line, and chin parallel to the floor. This is the most efficient position for the spine, meaning spinal stress is diminished, testosterone and serotonin levels increase, and cortisol levels decrease.
Obviously, you still need to look at your phone, but be aware of how long you are looking at it and your posture while using it. Use a desktop or laptop for extended work, making sure that they are
arranged ergonomically, and when using your mobile phone, raise it to your eye level instead of bending your head down to look at it.