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Postural deformities caused by smartphones?

Whether typing text messages, sending e-mails or surfing the Internet - those who own a smartphone stare at their phone for an average of 700 to 1400 hours a year. For the first time, New York scientists from the Clinic for Spinal Surgery investigated the hitherto unknown consequences of mobile phone use on the human spine. 

Hansraj KK: Assessment of stresses in the cervical spine caused by posture and position of the head.Surg Technol Int. 2014 Nov;25:277-9.

The shoulders fall forward, the head is bent - The typical posture of smartphone users is an immense strain on the neck. For example, even a slight tilt of the head puts a pressure of about 12 kilos on our necks, the American scientists around Dr. Hansraj noted. At an angle of inclination of 60 degrees, it is even 27 kilograms that pull at the neck muscles. The latter corresponds to the body weight of a seven-year-old child. The consequences are tensions, neck and headaches up to misuse of the entire spine. Especially the so-called "head-down" generation, which only rarely turns its eyes away from the display of the smartphone, may have to reckon with premature signs of wear, such as slipped discs or degenerative changes, warns Dr. Hansraj.

The advice of the American spinal surgeon is to lower one's eyes rather than let one's head hang. In addition, the user should occasionally hold the device in front of his face. This keeps the neck as upright as possible.

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