Tech Neck & Posture: The Biomechanics of Texting One thing that I hear A LOT at my clinic is… “and I know I have bad posture” or “well, I have never been good at paying attention to proper posture.” In fact, I hear this so often that it makes me want to delve deeper into some common causes of posture imbalances with my patients. The big thing I always remind them is:
One thing that we can never get away from that directly relates to posture is technology. In fact, I did another blog some time ago about technology and its effects on our body. Today we will delve a little deeper. Not just into technology and posture, but specifically texting and our cervical spine or our upper spine/neck.
Did you know that according to data from DataReportal, the average American spends around seven hours and four minutes looking at a screen, each day? (1). Another study specifically by the University of California San Francisco, stated that screen time had doubled after the pandemic (2). We know that both these statistics are true, we ourselves have seen it.
So, let’s look at exactly what is happening when we are texting? I will give you a brief overview of what the body looks like and what its movement or biomechanics are during texting.
Our necks have a natural curve to them. On an Xray it looks like a banana. This allows us to give the perfect amount of cushion and distribution to each part of our spine. However, when we are texting, we are leaning forward and looking down. Usually, we are sitting at a 45- or 60-degree forward angle when looking at a phone. The regular or neutral position is only 15 degrees tilted and looking forward. Now let’s say a 10-to-12-pound head has a 15-degree tilt. That means there is a 27-pound pull on our neck. Now let’s say that we are at a 60-degree tilt looking at a phone, with a 10–12-pound head this increases the load to about 60 pounds. This is a lot of stress on the spine!!! The next time you want to work on your posture, think about this simple change you can make to help take that load off our spine: lift that phone up to eye level!
That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed this blog from Dr. Hebdon. As always, if you want to make an appointment, or have more questions about posture or neck pain, give us a call at (615) 375 -7100. Or simply stop by in Dickson, TN!