Scientists from Pennsylvania's Temple University are looking into the physiological effects of excessive texting on a mobile phone to establish whether young people could be putting themselves at risk of needing spinal surgery spinal surgery.
Researchers believe that the physical act of sending an SMS could damage the body in the same way that sitting in front of a computer could.
With adults aged 18 to 21 the most likely to text, rather than email or phone, College of Health Professions assistant professor of epidemiology Judith Gold hopes to discover if texting could damage the spine or neck.
She noted that preliminary research had shown that those who text more seemed more likely to have stiffness or pain in their neck and shoulders.
"The way the body is positioned for texting - stationary shoulders and back with rapidly moving fingers - is similar to the position for typing on a computer," Ms Gold explained.
According to Text.it, more than one billion SMS messages are sent each week in the UK.