Health

The Real Effects of Our Cell Phones on Our Body Are Finally Revealing Themselves

August 28th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from back and neck pain, and one in four people sought care for such pains last year, according to the second annual Gallup poll commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Over the course of their lives, nearly two out of three respondents reported seeking professional help for neck or back pain at some point.

That's based on a survey of 7,645 adults between February and March.

Within the past year, 35.5 million people in the U.S. sought chiropractic services, an increase from 33.6 million people in the 2015 survey.

"Low-back pain and neck pain place a tremendous burden on our society," Christine Goertz, the vice chancellor for research and health policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic, said in a release.

The need for back and neck care should come as no surprise, given society's increasingly sedentary culture and dependence on mobile devices.

ATTN: has previously reported that leaning over to use your phone can cause "text neck": Tilting your head down puts a lot more pressure on your neck and spine, according to research conducted by spinal surgeon Kenneth Hansraj:

"An adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds in the neutral position," Hansraj wrote in 2014, according to New York Magazine. "As the head tilts forward, the forces seen by the neck [surge] to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees, and 60 pounds at 60 degrees."

Texting at eye level can help prevent potentially damaging head tilting, Hansraj told NBC's "Today" show.

Too much sitting can also cause back pain. Alternating between standing at your desk and sitting can help you to have a less sedentary lifestyle while at work: People with sit-stand desks burned up to 87 more calories per day than those who spent their entire work days sitting down, according to a 2015 study from the University of Iowa.

This is more proof that changing your sedentary work environment could go a long way in fighting obesity in the U.S., study author Lucas Carr said.

"Studies suggest American workers today burn roughly 100 calories less each day while at work, compared to American workers in 1960," Carr said. "This decline in occupational energy expenditure is thought to play a substantial role in the rising obesity epidemic we have observed over that same time period. Our findings are important, because they support redesigning the traditionally sedentary office environment as a potentially cost-effective approach for fighting the obesity epidemic."