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Text Necks
It’s no secret that having good posture is a key attribute to maintaining your health. In today’s world, it is too common to see people slumping over a tiny screened, smart phone for hours on end. According to the author of a newly published study, “Text neck,” is becoming an epidemic in the American society. In the articles “Keep Your Head Up: “Text Neck’ Takes a Toll on the Spine” by Laura Sullivan and “OMG You’re Texting Your Way to Back Pain” written by Jessica Firger, both explain reasons why people experience spinal pain linked to improper posture, how gravity plays a role, and how the hours spent in certain angles can also impact your health.
Spinal pain can be linked to a lot of different areas, but the most common way is through improper posture. Posture, is used to describe how your body is positioned when you're sitting, standing and lying down. In an intrusive definition, researchers cited in “Keep Your Head Up; “Text Next’ Takes a Toll on the Spine, good posture is “ears aligned with the shoulders and the ‘angel wings,’ or the shoulder blades, retracted.” (Sullivan 9). While poor posture, quoted from Dr. Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, actually adds pressure to the spine. The increased weight makes “the cranium become heaver the more you bend your neck.” (Firger 3). Essentially, unnatural positioning of your neck puts you at a higher risk of spinal injury.
Millions of people spend hours on their phones doing simple tasks like taking selfies, surfing the net, and texting. With people spending at least “2 to 4 hours each day with their neck bent’’ (Firger 2). in an unnatural angle, they are without knowing are putting extra pressure on their spine and consequentially, pulling it out of alignment. A study done by Dr. Hansraj, also revealed “bending your head at a 60 degree angle to get a better look at your selfie is putting 60 pounds’ worth of pressure on your cervical spine...” (Firger 4). Technology is unavoidable and since social media plays a huge part in high school students’ everyday lives, Hansraj suggests “people should make an effort to look at their phones with a ‘neutral spine’.” (Sullivan 8). He explains that having a neutral spine means that instead of putting your head down, you avert your eyes downward. This is beneficial for the fact that research claims that students can cumulate 5,000+ hours hunched over smartphones. Did you know “flexing the head at varying degrees” can promote the “…loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine”? (Firger5). Thanks to gravity, the stress on the spine can sometimes be excessive. . Gravity can make an average head weighing 10 pounds add up to as much as 60 pounds on the spine. For example, “tilting your head a mere 15 degrees puts 27 pounds of pressure on your spine” while a “45 degree tilt adds the force of 49 pounds!” (Firger 6). This seems to be a huge problem as these stresses could “lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possible surgeries.”
It is evident that that having good posture is a crucial aspect to your health. Although it is a part of our generation’s everyday lives, the way people operate their phones has become a health threat. In the two supporting articles by Laura Sullivan and Jessica Firger, they both use examples and research why people experience spinal pain linked to poor posture, how gravity plays a role, and how the hours spent in certain angles health.

Works Cited
Firger, Jessica. "OMG, You're Texting Your Way to Back Pain." CBS Interactive, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
Sullivan, Laura. "Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine." 20 Nov. 2014. Web. 12 Dec. 2014.

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