Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj thinks that our increasingly digital world could hurt us. Literally! Dr. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, has researched the pressure that looking down at your phone does to your neck. In fact, with a human head weighing roughly 12 pounds, looking down at a phone at a 60 degree angle is the equivalent of a weight of about 60 pounds on our spines.
The Atlantic was one of the many sources to promote Dr. Hansraj’s findings. In the Atlantic article, they compare the weight of looking down at your phone to other 60 pounds things that could be similarly hazardous to your posture. “Sixty pounds is roughly the weight of four adult-sized bowling balls,” the Atlantic article guestimates. “[sic] Or six plastic grocery bags worth of food. Or an eight-year-old child.”
With all of the ways people communicate, smartphones use is a significant portion of our days (roughly 195 minutes). Hopefully, this new spinal research won’t develop all the way to the surgeries which Dr. Hansraj believes may be only a few years away from being necessary.
To protect our necks, we should probably invest in living life a little differently. Start sightseeing and look at skyscrapers. Make very tall friends. Maybe, as Melanie Pinola suggests, we could start holding our phones directly in front of us.