Medical boffins have codified two new gadget-derived diseases.
The new “Digitillnesses” are known as “text neck” and “telepressure”.
The former, as detailed [PDF] by Kenneth Hansraj MD, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, results from the fact that looking down at a smartphone puts your neck in a bad position.
“As the head tilts forward the forces seen by the neck surges to 27 pounds at 15 degrees, 40 pounds at 30 degrees, 49 pounds at 45 degrees and 60 pounds at 60 degrees,” Hansraj writes.
Those loads are rather larger than one experiences in conventional postures, and that's not good because “people spend an average of two to four hours a day with their heads tilted over reading and texting on their smart phones and devices.”
“Cumulatively this is 700 to 1400 hours a year of excess stresses seen about the cervical spine.”
Hansraj says it's up to you to sort this out.
“While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.”
Your colossal head is making your TXTs unsustainably weighty
Telepressure is described in The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, which explains how “Organizations rely heavily on asynchronous message-based technologies (e.g., e-mail) for the purposes of work-related communications.”
That reliance means “workers might feel varying levels of preoccupations with and urges for responding quickly to messages from clients, coworkers, or supervisors—an experience we label as workplace telepressure.” The study says telepressure is distinct from other workplace stresses, and that sufferers don't sleep well and are more likely to take time off from work.
Again, the remedy is simple: don't stress about rapid response to email and, if you're a manager, let it be known that rapid responses to email aren't required. Especially outside working hours. ®