The Health Risks Associated with Teen Texters

Just look at the text usage for any teen, and you're likely to be blown away by how much a teen can text. Despite the fact that you have no idea how much they can talk to their friends after seeing them at school all day, chronic texting can also affect teen’s health. Here are the health risks you need to be aware of before you hand the phone to your teen.

Risky Health Problems

Teens that were referred to hyper-texters, or those who sent 120 or more texts a day, were more at risk to try cigarettes, have sex, have multiple sexual partners, use illicit drugs, and more. For the study that discovered these ill-effects of teen texting, the research also found that 11.5% of the teens surveyed spent more than three hours a day on social networking sites.

Physical Health Problems

Not only can too much texting affect your teen’s mental health and good decision making, but it can also cause them a literal pain in the neck. The common term, “tech neck” refers to the angle of the neck when looking at technology. Tech neck affects almost everyone in this tech-happy generation. It can come from looking at your cell phone or looking down at your laptop. The problem is that the neck is looking down in a downward angle for extended periods of time.

When the neck is in this angle, the weight of the head puts more pressure on the spinal column. This then leads to shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain, and even headaches. The remedy is simple, though hard to implement. To protect your spine, decrease your usage of technology. Along with decreasing your usage, it is important to hold your phone eye level instead of bending your neck down to view texts or play games. Finally, if you do spend a lot of time looking at your phone, it is important to take several stretch breaks, gently moving your head side to side and up and down.

Teach your teen the importance of preventing tech neck. The easiest way to do this is to eliminate games and internet on the phone. This may seem harsh, but they can easily play the same games and surf the internet on a home computer that is positioned for better ergonomics. As parents to teens, it is important to limit texting and social media usage. These limits may not make you popular with your teen, but it will protect their mental and physical health.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Garry Knight

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