Attention all cell phone and tablet users, looking down at your wireless device can cause text neck.
Text neck describes the bend and pressure placed on the neck when looking down at the many devices used during the day, according to Spine-health.
The strain and damage text neck causes is done to the cervical spine, the portion in your neck that allows you to look down.
Just a slight angle down, 15-degrees to be exact, adds an additional 27 pounds of pressure to the cervical spine, according to the Washington Post, and the weight increases the more your neck bends.
That added pressure, combined with the natural weight of the human head, is causing more individuals to seek spinal care, complaining of neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain and tightness, and even pain shooting through the arms, according to Spine-health.
And teens are at high risk for experiencing text neck.
The average amount of time a teen 13 to 18 years-old spends looking at their devices is over six hours a day, according to a study conducted by Common Sense Media.
As cell phones and tablets become more ingrained in our everyday lives, the awareness of the amount of time spent looking down to check an email is what will help alleviate stress in the neck.
Turning off notifications from apps is one way to help users take breaks from constantly checking their cell phone.
And another tip is one that has been long recommended for those who spend hours staring at a computer screen, the 20-20-20 rule.
After 20 minutes of looking at a cell phone screen, look away for 20 seconds at something that is 20 feet away.
This helps the eyes re-focus and release the strain caused from looking at a screen.
And to help prevent text neck the best thing is to not look down at the phone. Instead, use your eyes to look down, not your head.
Hold the phone upward and in front of your face to keep the head up.
As technology continues to play a huge role in everyday life, the best thing we can all do is to make sure it’s helping our lives be easier and more efficient, not a pain in the neck.