NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You better think twice the next time you look at your smartphone, because you could be doing some serious damage to your spine.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, a recent study put things in perspective by the pound.

The average American spends 2 to 4 hours a day on their smart devices, texting, emailing, and playing games.

High school students spend thousands of hours a year on their phones and when they hunch over too long pain may set in, and age doesn’t matter.

“I get it in the neck area a little bit. Then it would refer out into the shoulders and upper back,” Tod Snyder said.

Pushing buttons with poor posture puts serious stress on your spine. Just how much depends on the tilt of your head.

“When the neck is straight then the head weighs ten to twelve,” Dr. Ken Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine explained, “They’re big numbers, really large numbers. When you get to 15 degrees it’s two times that at 25-lbs, at 30 degrees it’s four times that at 40-lbs.”

Tilt to 60 degrees and it’s like holding up 60-lbs.

“With the excessive stress that you’ll get wear and tear and degeneration. Surgery may eventually be necessary,” Dr. Hansraj said, “In my heart I believe in time we’ll see an uptick of spinal surgeries and treatments.”

The message is not to get rid of smart devices, it’s to become more aware and to keep your head up.

“Proper posture is really simple; ears above your shoulders, your angel wings, your scapula retracted,” Dr. Hansraj said.

Once you have achieved proper alignment, take a deep breath and enjoy it this is the most efficient position for the spine and there are added benefits.

“The internal chemistry changes, dopamine goes up, so you have more energy, seratonin goes up, so you’re feeling better,” Dr. Hansraj said.

Testosterone can also be expected to go up and cortisol should go down, so you may feel less stressed.

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