Texting has some nasty effects on the spine. Craning our heads downward to stare at a screen creates an additional 60 pounds of pressure on our delicate spines, threatening the body with permanent injuries. This is according to new report from Kenneth Hansraj, a New York-based surgeon, who developed a computer model of how poor texting posture distorts the spine (image above).

“Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries,” explains Hasraj.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: Fix your posture. Last month, at Venturebeat’s annual health conference, HealthBeat, we invited noted Crossfit coach and mobility expert Kelly Starrett to teach techies how to type and text without destroying their back. Readers can watch the full video below.

The gist of Starrett’s advice is to keep the head in an upright position. To do this properly, start by extending the arms outward and then rotates palms toward the sky. This naturally rolls the shoulders back into a strong position. From there, the elbows can be bent inward, bringing the hands in front of your face.

Finally, angle your eyes downward to look at the screen while maintaining your neck in a position as though it were looking straight ahead.

This approach takes some getting used to. It’s awkward at first. But it’s better than permanent damage.

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