Why texting is harming your back
Sometimes sending a text message might make you feel as if you have lifted the weight of the world off your shoulders – according to researchers, the opposite might be true.
A recent study finds that our posture while sending text messages may be adding additional weight to our backs, leading to damage to the spine. Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, discovered that when we tilt our head to just a 15 degree angle we add 27 pounds of pressure to the spine and at a 60 degree angle, 60 additional pounds are added. This is the equivalent of having an 8-year-old child on your back.
While you would never leave an 8-year-old child on your back for two to four hours without expecting back pain, this is how much time most of us spend sending text messages every day. This additional stress on the spine can lead to early wear and tear and even degeneration, which may require surgery in the future.
On the other hand, proper posture while texting can reduce the pressure on our backs. Andrew Nowak, a physical therapist at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., suggests watching your posture. If you are sitting while texting make sure your ears are over your shoulders and your pelvis is aligned.
“As the pelvis tips back, the spine rolls out of proper alignment, causing increased pressure on the discs of the back. So stand up tall and take breaks often,” he says.
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