This Is What Looking Down At Your Mobile Phone Does To Your Spine

This Is What Looking Down At Your Mobile Phone Does To Your Spine

Our mobile phones and tablets have transformed the way we hold our bodies — and not for the better. Looking down at your device is like having a 30-kilo weight on your neck, according to a spine surgeon.

That’s like having an eight-year old sitting on your head while you’re standing trying to read your text messages, The Atlantic points out.

Dr Kenneth K Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, developed the computer model above. As you might expect, moving your head forward and having that amount of force on your neck and spine isn’t good for your health — and the average person spends two to four hours a day in this position. Dr. Hansraj’s paper, published in the Surgical Technology International journal, notes that good posture is having your ears aligned with the shoulders and your shoulder blades back. This lowers body stress and decreases cortisol. Poor posture, on the other hand, stresses the spine and can lead to early wear, tear, generation, and maybe surgery.

A few solutions: hold your phone straight in front of you instead of bending your head down, place your tablet at a 30 degree angle when typing or tapping (the angle protects your wrists) or more perpendicularly if just reading, and stretch your neck back to correct a forward neck posture.

What Texting Does to the Spine [The Atlantic]


  • What does reading a book do to your spine? What does eating phở do to your spine? What does peeing at the urinal do to your spine?

  • What a load of rubbish. People have been reading books, writing things, painting, drawing, sitting at the dinner table while eating, and generally looking down at stuff in postures like this for hundreds of years. Why is it suddenly a big deal now?

    • Decent point, but you surely must have noticed how obsessed with looking at their phones everyone is. I don’t recall the last time someone was hit by a bus or fell in a fountain because they were staring down at the pages of a book.
      Come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t mind if someone was engrossed in a good book and bumped into me on the footpath but when they do it because they’re looking down at a phone it sure pisses me off!

  • At the age of “over 50” I assure you I have spent a hell of a lot more time reading books than looking at tablet screens. Due to my inability to touch type, I look at keyboards too.

    Since this story is on as well, I can only conclude its a slow news day, and Dr Hansraj was either dribbling shit to get his name in print – or has been grossly misquoted.

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