If you haven't heard the official term "text neck"--the slouched posture one gradually adopts over time from texting too much--chances are you've felt its physical effects in the form of headaches and a sore neck.
But if the thought of developing "iHunch" as some researchers put it, isn't enough to stop you from putting down your smartphone, consider this: Your bad posture may also be hurting you psychologically.
According to a recent New York Times piece by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, existing research indicates that bad posture isn't just reflective of a bad mood or low self-esteem--slouching may actually cause self-esteem issues.
A June study conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland put participants, none of whom reported feelings of depression before the study, through a series of reading and speech tests while being told to either sit upright throughout, or to complete the tasks while sitting in a slouched position. The participants with good posture reported feeling more confident and being in a better mood after the tests. And a study published last year in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy found that bad posture may also affect your memory. Depressed individuals were asked to recall a list of both positive and negative words they had been shown. Those who had been shown the list while hunched over remembered more of the negative words, while those who had good posture as they looked at the list remembered more of the positive words.
If you're on your phone constantly, there's no need to panic yet. Cuddy says that there are simple ways to prevent your phone from ruining your posture. Try using a larger device, so that you don't have to slouch over as much to be able to read the screen. Remember to hold your phone at eye level, so you can read through your emails and texts while sitting upright. Not only will you ward off text neck, but you'll also become more productive--at least according to a 2009 study, which found that Japanese schoolchildren with better posture got more work done than their peers.