Speed Reads

'Text Neck' Terrors

Study: Staring at your phone while texting is like putting a 60-pound weight on your spine

Workers have carpal tunnel syndrome, retirees have tennis elbow, and now cellphone addicts have their own painful affliction: "text neck."

But what, exactly, causes the pain and discomfort chronic texters experience? A new study in the journal Surgical Technology International may provide the answer: Staring at one's phone can add up to 60 pounds of weight to the stress felt by the spine. The steeper a texter's head is angled, the greater the weight is placed on the spine:

(Image courtesy SURGICAL TECHNOLOGY INTERNATIONAL XXV)

Researchers estimate that we spend two to four hours daily bent over our phones and smart devices, and the accumulated time "may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries." Try explaining that medical crisis to your grandparents.