Image: Woman with suspected ‘Tech Neck’

The COVID pandemic has had huge ramifications. Among these, and something which you may not have considered, is an increase in spinal problems from scrolling on phones and other devices.

Research from the Australian Chiropractors Association’s (ACA) shows that as a nation, Aussies have been spending more time on mobile devices. Many said that the increased time is spent on scrolling through social media (50%) working (27%), shopping (48%), streaming content (44%), and communicating (37%). The increase in mobile phone use has meant a decrease in other, healthier lifestyle practices like exercise, sleeping, and socialising.

Dr David Cahill, ACA President said –
“The human head weighs about five kilograms. However, as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase: research shows 60 degrees of neck flexion can place up to 27 kg of weight through the spine, and this prolonged time spent hunching over the phone can cause a wide range of symptoms including an increase in the mid-back curvature, commonly known as ‘Tech Neck’. Over time, ‘Tech Neck’ can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration, and even the need for surgery to address damage caused,”

Whilst the name ‘Tech Neck’ might sound cool and hip, it is not something you want. The ACA recommends taking regular breaks from devices, holding your smartphone at eye level and taking regular exercise snacks.