Smartphones causing ‘pain in the neck’

Washington: A large majority of the world’s 3.4 billion smartphone users are putting their necks at risk every time they send a text, scientist say. ‘Text neck,’ as it is colloquially called, places stress on the spine and alters the neck’s natural curve, increasing the likelihood of associated soft tissue discomfort. Researchers from Khon Kaen University in Thailand and the University of South Australia video recorded 30 smartphone users in Thailand aged between 18-25 years, who spend up to eight hours a day on their phones.

Using a Rapid Upper Limb Assessment tool (RULA) to measure ergonomic risk levels, they found that the average score for the participants was 6, compared to an acceptable score of between 1-2. “The results identified issues with unsuitable neck, trunk and leg postures which lead to musculoskeletal disorders,” said lead researcher Suwalee Namwongsa, from Khon Kaen University.

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