New technologies are synonymous with innovation and a better standard of life. Smartphones and tablets allow you to communicate long distance virtually in real time with anyone in the world. The fact is, as well as changing social relationships, these devices have side effects that aren't always pleasant, like headaches and neck tension, for example. We're not talking about electromagnetic pollution but rather the posture of the body, and the neck in particular.
Spending up to 4 hours a day with a bent head
According to a recent study by Kenneth Hansraj, a leading specialist in spinal surgery from New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, people spend 2 to 4 hours a day with their heads bent over their smartphones writing, reading or playing games. The research also says that over a year, that makes between 700 and 1,400 hours of stress to the neck, which can increase to 5,000 for people who spend most of their day with their heads bent over their phones or leaning over books. And the result? More chance of having a chronic headache. That's not really a surprise, is it?
When smartphones cause headaches
Spending the day with your head hovering over your smartphone can create stress to the neck area of the spinal column equal to a load of 27 kilos of pressure, equivalent to the weight of a 7 or 8-year-old child. It's a curved posture that in the long run will almost certainly increase the probability of chronic conditions like headache, and in extreme cases, it can even damage the spine.
Mobile phone stress translates to pressure of up to 22 kilos on the neck
The load to the neck when you're bent over a smartphone depends above all on the angle of the head: an angle of 15 degrees is the equivalent of 12 kilos of pressure, 30 degrees to 18 kilos and 45 degrees to 22 kilos.
As well as headache, the libido is reduced
In the past, other studies linked the bad posture of the neck caused by the 'dependence' on smartphones with other problems like back ache, weight gain, heartburn and respiratory conditions. According to some researchers, having bad posture can even cause depression, anger and low libido.