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Smartphone Obsession Leading Many To Feel Painful 'Text Neck'

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – As our obsession with our gadgets grows, more doctors are seeing a painful phenomenon known as "text neck."

The pains are a result of constantly looking down at electronic gadgets. According to the marketing agency Tecmark, people pick up their cellphones about 1,500 times a week, which means more people are feeling the strain.

"Sometimes I feel myself hurting from looking down at my phone a lot," said Kabrina Speakman of San Francisco.

Dr. Robert Markison, a clinical professor of surgery at UCSF, said we should get smarter about using our smart devices.

"The theme of ergonomics is to bring objects to you as you assume proper posture rather than you bending over into them," Markison told KPIX 5.

Markison said even bending our heads at a slight angle could have major effects. On average, our heads weigh 10-12 pounds. At an angle of 15 degrees, it feels like 27 pounds. At 60 degrees, where most of us bend our heads to our phones, it feels like 60 pounds.

The doctor said it's not just the neck we have to worry about. "It's a big system from brain to fingertips that we're trying to preserve," he said.

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