Craning your neck to look at your phone places an incredible amount of stress on your spine

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A 2017 Pew Research Center survey has reported that 77 percent of Americans own smartphones, a number that rose from 35 percent in 2011. This surge in smartphone use has led to problems ranging from addiction to physical stress on the neck and spine.

When people crane their heads to look at their smartphone devices, a surprising amount of force is placed on the cervical spine, a study published in the journal Surgical Technology International found.

According to the study, published in 2014, the head exerts 10 to 12 pounds of force on the spine even when the neck positioned in a neutral, upright position.

Using a computer-simulated model of the human spine, New York back surgeon Kenneth Hansraj found that when the neck is craned to 30 degrees from the vertical, the force placed on the spine is increased to 40 pounds. When the neck is craned at 60 degrees, the spine is experiencing 60 pounds of force, which is roughly the weight of four bowling balls, or an 8-year-old child.

Smartphone users may be continually stressing their spines, unless they train themselves to bring their phones up to eye level.

It is estimated that Americans spend about an hour on their phones daily. The pressures exerted on their spines may lead to early wear and degeneration on the spine, back surgeon Hansraj wrote in the study.


RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Pressure head exerts on cervical spine when standing upright
2. Pressure exerted on spine when head is tilted at 30 degrees
3. Pressure exerted on spine when head is tilted at 60 degrees
4. Man looks at smartphone held up at line of sight

VOICEOVER (in English):

“The head exerts 10 to 12 pounds of force on the spine even when the neck is positioned in a neutral, upright position.”

“When the neck is craned to 30 degrees, the force placed on the spine increases to 40 pounds, the equivalent of three bowling balls.”

“Craned at 60 degrees, the spine is experiencing 60 pounds of force, which is roughly the weight of four bowling balls, or an 8-year-old.”

“Smartphone users may be continually stressing their spine, unless they train themselves to bring their phones up to eye level.”


SOURCES:
The Atlantic, Surgical Technology International
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/what-texting-does-to-the-spine/382890/
https://cbsminnesota.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/spine-study.pdf