The effects of 'tech' on our bodies

Increased use of computers, tablets and smart phones has resulted in a greater number of stiff necks, headaches, sore shoulders and elbow, wrist and thumb injuries. 

 

A recent study found that there was a high incidence of neck and shoulder pain amongst the office workers and this is mainly due to poor working posture and an ineffective desk set up. This does not just occur in the work place. It is common place to use laptops, tablets and smart phones at home, often slouched on the sofa or in bed, which strains the neck, shoulders and upper extremities. It is ironic that many of us spend the majority of our working day in front of the computer and then to go home and do exactly the same! Regular breaks (every 45 minutes) are advisable to move around, stretch and grab a drink of water to keep those aches and pains at bay.

 

Studies are now being conducted on children to monitor the effects of long term use of smart devices on their health. Researchers performed a study amongst adolescents who used computers regularly and concluded that just 2 or more hours of computer work increases the risk of headaches, eye strain, neck, low back and shoulder pain. Long periods in front of computers is now being associated with increasing the rate of neck degeneration, leading to long term health problems such as chronic headaches and low back pain.

 

The importance of physical activity is a subject which rings clear in many of our minds and this should be incorporated into not only our lives, but also that of our children. The rising levels of obesity and poor health can be part blamed for the sedentary lifestyle sitting in front of computers, so let’s get ourselves and children active, just 30 minutes a day is all that is advised and make it fun!

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