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It is both amazing and scary how the technology has changed over the past 10 years. Not so long ago a phone with a touch screen that can connect to the internet was science fiction, and look at us now.

The scary part is how the technology is affecting our habits and our health. Using a cell phone has transformed the way we hold our bodies – and not in the good way. Can you believe that holding down your device can be like having an eight-year old sitting on your head while you are standing?

Approximately 60 pounds of weight is the pressure you’re enduring while reading your text messages and browsing the internet.

Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, chief of spinal surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine, developed the virtual model above. It turns out that moving your head forward and having that amount of force on your neck and spine isn’t good for your health—and the average person spends two to four hours a day in this position.

Dr. Hansraj’s paper, published in Surgical Technology International, notes that good posture is related to having your ears aligned with the shoulders and your shoulder blades back. This lowers body stress and decreases cortisol. Poor posture, on the other hand, stresses the spine and can lead to early wear and tear, and maybe lead to surgery.

A few solutions: hold your phone straight in front of you instead of bending your head down, try to place your tablet at a 30 degree angle when typing or tapping (this angle protects your wrists) or at a right angle if just reading, and stretch your neck back to correct a forward neck posture.

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