Technology makes almost everything easier—from communicating with others to improving business processes. It’s also great for looking up information about symptoms, ailments, or injuries. But did you know that technology could actually be the cause of your problems?
According to research, spending a lot of time using technology has some serious negative health effects. The trouble is, you likely won’t notice the negative symptoms until it’s too late to reverse the effects. Furthermore, technology has the largest effect on those who have desk jobs. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, staring at a screen or tapping away at your phone, can take a toll on your body.
The best thing you can do is educate yourself on how technology could be hurting you. From there, you can make a plan to save yourself from a lifetime of pain and possible suffering.
Here are some technology-caused health problems you should know about:
1. Arthritic Problems
Texting can actually cause arthritis in your joints, particularly in your thumbs. This is known as texting thumb, and it occurs when the flexor tendon in the thumb tightens and swells because of repetitive movements done through texting or gripping a smartphone. If left untreated, texting thumb can actually turn into arthritis, which is impossible to cure.
Thumbs aren’t the only victims here, either. Elbows can also experience a kind of arthritis from holding a phone to the ear or resting on the desk while typing or texting. This is known as cubital tunnel syndrome. Once developed, it can be treated, but never fully healed, leaving you with arthritic elbows for the rest of your life.
If you want to avoid these issues, try to break up the monotony of your movements. Circumvent positions that keep your elbows flexed for long periods of time, and try texting with a different finger on some days to avoid issues.
2. Back and Neck Pain
When staring at a screen all day long, it’s nearly impossible to keep your back and neck perfectly straight. Your head is very heavy, and as you tilt forward to look at your phone or your computer screen, this pulls down your spine and causes the vertebrae to twist and bend unnaturally, causing back and neck pain that can lead to chronic headaches.
Ergonomically designed office equipment can help a lot with this. Adjust your chair height and desk legs so that you’re looking straight at your computer screen. Using lumbar support on your chair can also encourage you to sit up straight.
3. Long-Term Health Conditions
Sitting for hours each day, glued to your electronics, decreases your level of activity. When you stop exercising, you’re also more likely to eat junk food, and won’t have the energy to burn enough calories for proper metabolic function. The results can be deadly, raising your cholesterol and blood pressure, and resulting in blood sugar disorders. If left unchecked, bad habits can turn into heart disease and diabetes, which will follow you for the rest of your life and may even cause death.
Exercising and eating healthy can reduce the risk of developing these diseases. It’s also good to get regular checkups and follow the advice of your doctor. Many people who listen to their doctors early are able to stop long term health conditions before they take root.
Curbing your technology use may not be possible since you have to work, but there are ways you can avoid these primary issues. Taking action is the only way you’ll keep machinery from taking over your life and potentially killing you.