Your Candy Crush addiction might be harming your neck more than your productivity, according to new research.
Looking down at your phone can add up to 60 pounds of pressure on your spine, depending on the angle. That’s according to a new study from spinal surgeon Dr. Kenneth Hansraj and published in Surgical Technology International.
People spend two to four hours per day on average with their heads tilted downward in activities like texting and reading, the study said. Over the course of a year, that time adds up to 700 to 1,400 hours of excess stress on the cervical spine, or up to 5,000 hours for high school students. Over time, this causes a hunched-forward position and increases the risk of spinal wear and tear.
It’s “nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues,” Dr. Hansraj wrote in the report. But people can take preventative steps by looking at their phones while maintaining good posture, defined as having one’s ears aligned with their shoulders.