Tech Smart: Getting Rid of "Text Neck"

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Posted at 5:39 AM, May 14, 2015
and last updated 2017-05-30 12:31:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- If your phone is causing a literal pain in the neck, you may actually be suffering from text neck!

Health experts say smart phone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading emails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That's the equivalent of up to 1,400 hours a year we stress our spines, causing inflammation of the neck muscles, ligaments and nerves.

According to medical experts, the human head weighs about 12 pounds. As you bend your neck forward and down to read a cell phone, the weight on your cervical spine increases.

At a 15 degree angle, the head weighs more like 27 pounds; at a 30 degree angle, it's 40 pounds; at a 45 degree angle, 49 pounds, and at a 60 degree angle, 60 pounds. That's the equivalent of carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day.

Doctors say there are some solutions to "text neck":

-Sit up straight with your head in a neutral position (ears over your shoulders), good posture and your feet planted flat on the ground.

-Wear a headset so you're not looking down at your cell phone.

-Every 20 minutes stand up, roll your shoulders back and walk around so you're not stuck in one position.

-Consider a "text neck" app that flashes a red light when you're holding your cell phone in a dangerous "text neck" position.