We think about the effect that technology has on our lives fairly regularly. We are using it daily to search out restaurants, email, message on social media, and many of us need our computer or tablet for work. We are thinking about how great technology is for our everyday purposes, but do we think about how it is affecting our health?
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been working on research to find out how technology truly affects our health. They had some very interesting findings, so I want to share them with you below.
Spanned over three years, the joint study involving both adults and school children aimed at examining their time spent on using various IT products, the tasks performed and postures adopted in their daily use. The relationship between the use of electronic devices and the development of musculoskeletal symptoms is a major focus of this study. Participants were asked to report any related physical problems, such as neck pain, shoulder pain, and wrist and hand pain symptoms.
The first phase of the survey was conducted in 2011-2012 involving a total of 465 adults aged between 18 to 50 years old. 221 persons were full-time workers and 244 were college students, all. Among them, 90% were daily smartphone users, 74% used desktop computers, 61% laptop computers, and 35% used tablet computers. 70% of respondents reported having experienced neck pain, 65% had shoulder pain, 46% with wrist and finger pain. Results also revealed that most respondents used more than one types of electronic device and for quite a long time each day. Maintaining a prolonged static posture, coupled with lack of exercise, would significantly increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal symptoms in different parts of the body.