Can you believe it’s only been just a little more than a decade since smartphones came into our lives? Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPhone in 2007, and they’ve pretty much taken over our lives.

Few would argue that they’re a constant presence – both in our personal and professional lives. Many, however, would argue that these devices have degraded our ability to focus. The ability for constant connectivity to receive information and entertainment may come at the sacrifice of relationships, as well as our overall health.

Too Much Time in Our Hands

A survey last year from Deloitte determined that nearly half of smartphone owners in the United States have made an effort to limit their use of these devices. Generally, if it’s in our hands – or within reach – we tend to be glued to its screen.

So, how are we trying to limit our use of mobile devices? The most popular approach is keeping it out of sight buy putting it in our pocket or purse, and by turning off notifications. Alas, apps that give us access to social media and streaming entertainment hare hijacking our good best intentions. Just 30% of us say we’ve actually managed to reduce the time we spend on our smartphone.

By the Numbers

A growing amount of attention is being paid to smartphone usage as new studies shed further insight and perspective. The public is starting to take notice because some of these statistics are startling.

  • In the United States, smartphone owners check their phone on an average of 47 times a day.
  • 85% of U.S. smartphone owners admit to using it while they’re talking to friends and family.
  • 80% of us say we check our smartphones an hour or less before going to sleep, and within an hour when getting up.
  • 30% of us admit to checking our smartphone within five minutes of waking up.

How are we trying to push back from this addictive device? During their survey, Deloitte asked and ranked the top five approaches:

  1. 38% say they keep their phone in a pocket or purse when interacting with people.
  2. 32% say they turn off the mobile device’s audio notifications.
  3. 27% keep their phone in a pocket or purse when they’re alone.
  4. 26% deleted apps.
  5. 26% turn off their phone in the evenings.

How Excessive Smartphone Use Can Impact Your Health

If you spend a lot of time using your smartphone, you’re probably bringing your head down and forward to see what’s on the screen. It creates pressure points in the neck area of your spine and the muscles in the area have to compensate to hold your head in this unbalanced position.

Leaning forward to look at your smartphone puts about 30 pounds of strain on your back. To put this potential stress on your body, that’s about three times more than the weight of an average bowling ball.

Step away from your smartphone. It’s bad for you in many ways, and it just might be the major contributor to your neck pain. Learn more about how neck or back pain is your body’s way of telling you something’s not aligned.