How is Technology Affecting Our Bodies?
Posted on 29th March 2022 at 15:37
With technology seemingly taking over the need for us to do more and more everyday tasks, we’re becoming less and less active. Instead, we become more and more reliant on technology to do what our hands and legs used to do for us.
No longer do we need to walk into a bank and pay our latest credit card bills, as we’ve got an app for that. Want to simultaneously speak to a group of your friends who are based all over the world? WhatsApp can do that for you. Fancy watching a marathon of your favourite TV show for 12 hours straight? Well, that’s also possible.
Shockingly, research shows that up to 50% of us have suffered some sort of pain or discomfort stemming from our overuse of technology, with 70% of 18 to 25-year-olds claiming such issues. This is a clear nod to how much our reliance has increased in recent years.
Yes, we can seemingly do almost anything now without even leaving the comfort of our own home, but at what cost to our physical wellbeing?
Let’s take a look at some of the issues that are starting to become rather common with our increasing ties to our laptops and phones.
Forward head posture
Also know as FHP, forward head posture is a very common sight in life now. Take a glimpse at others as you sit in your favourite coffee shop, and you will observe many people sat on their phones in this manner - round shoulders and neck leaning forward at what has probably become a comfortable position for them now. Forward head posture brings some painful results such as headaches, neck pain, mid back pain, chest pain, and muscular tension in the shoulders and neck.
Lower back pain
Being sat for hours on end at a desk can lead to some nasty pain in the lower back, as it puts huge pressure on, and forces the compression of, our vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments. The hip flexor muscles can become chronically shortened creating a tight, pulling pain or discomfort in the lower back. This is often felt when you go to stand up again and find the motion is not quite as fluid as it should be. This can also give us stooped or leaned posture when we try to walk.
Repetitive strain injury (RSI)
Often caused by using a mouse or even constantly typing on our phones, repetitive strain injury is sometimes referred to as mouse arm. RSI can cause pain, numbness and tingling and tension in the wrist, hands, elbows, and shoulders. Research shows that up to 60% of IT workers who work at least 8 hours per day are likely to suffer symptoms of RSI at some point in their working careers.
These conditions are difficult to shift once you have them, so it’s best to do something about them now. So, what can we do to help prevent forward head posture, lower back pain and RSI?
What can we do about these conditions?
One common theme when it comes to our reliance on technology is inactivity. Counter measures are often part of the solution. In other words, we need to move more.
We should be taking regular breaks in order to stretch out those inactive muscles – even if it’s just a short walk or a series of stretches - anything small to combat the tightening up of the muscles. You should also regularly check your posture, or have your posture checked by a professional. Massage therapy is great for this, as muscles will become more relaxed and stretched out. Additionally, during a massage any postural issues can be assessed.
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