Texting too much can be a pain in the neck... literally

If you thought those newly-introduced double blue ticks on Whatsapp were a pain in the neck, we bring you more bad news.

New research carried out by an American doctor has highlighted that "text neck" could possibly lead to permanent damage.

The surgeon behind the paper, Dr Kenneth Hansraj, said that the posture that people adopt as they use their phones increases the pressure on the neck.

This can lead to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even a need for surgery.

Dr Hansraj said that the weight on our necks increases as we angle our heads down to look at our phones. It is akin to carrying an eight-year-old around your neck several hours per day. 

Smartphone users now spend an average of two to four hours a day looking down at their phone. The research says that "this results in 700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses seen about the cervical spine."

Dr Hansraj said: "It is an epidemic, or at least, it's very common.

"Just look around you, everyone has their heads down," he told The Washington Post. 

He also said: "The problem is really profound in young people. With this excessive stress in the neck, we might start seeing young people needing spine care. I would like to see parents showing more guidance."

So what can you do if you are constantly texting?

Sammy Margon, from the UK's Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, advises people to use voice recognition and make phone calls instead.

Taking regular breaks from texting is also advised.

Source: The Guardian, Washington Post