Recall years ago when smartphone users complained of “BlackBerry thumb” or “iPhone thumb,” an inflamed thumb due to excessive use.
Recently, a diagram was published in Surgical Technology that revealed the impact of looking down at our smartphones to text, check Facebook, or search the web is having detrimental effects on our spines. Kenneth Hansraj, a New York back surgeon and author of the paper, stated, “As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees.”
Today, Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital is chiming in and offered up several tips to ease the pressure on your spine and still operate your device. Sunnybrook notes that we should not let our head hang low, but “try to hold your mobile device up slightly rather than tucked right into your body.” In addition, we should look up “every 45 minutes,” do shoulder roll exercises, and while sitting in the car or the subway, “try to have your head and shoulders touch the head rest.”
The latest stats in the CRTC’s Communications Monitoring report indicated that there are over 28 million wireless subscribers in Canada. There is no word on how many have suffered from discomfort from cell phone usage.