There was a time not so long ago (okay, maybe a long time ago) when a work-related injury meant, say, straining your neck around a giant 80s cell phone, throwing your back out while lugging around heavy stones or getting bitten by a rattlesnake while out on the hunt. Today, though, most people are far more likely to be injured by the many products they rely on the most — particularly when it comes to technology. Tiny smartphone keyboards lead to fatigued thumbs, “tablet neck” and “gorilla arm” . Such conditions quickly turn into deeper problems, like Repetitive Strain Injuries, which often require costly surgeries and a lot of time off. Even worse: this is all happening at much younger ages, which just goes to show that our tech obsession is taking a pretty quick and deep toll.
Modern Solutions Involve Prevention
But many of these problems can be prevented with a few tweaks to behavior. For example, when using your smartphone or tablet, make sure to keep it at chest level so you’re not straining your back or neck. Rather than typing on your tablet screen, which forces your hands into awkward positions and provides no tactile feedback, balance your tablet on a tablet stand and attach an ergonomic split keyboard to keep your entire body aligned. Make sure you take a break every once in awhile to stretch and move your body in new ways. Most important of all, remember to look up once in awhile, engage with the world, and put down your devices now and again. It’s okay, they’ll be there for you when you return — we swear it!
For more tips on how to properly use other modern products with intense ergonomic problems, we highly recommend reading this CNN article Modern Day Health Woes, Solved, which examines how to combat the effects of stilettos, earbuds and screen-related sleep disorders.
What measures have you taken to take care of your body and mind as your enjoy your modern devices? Let us know in the comments below.