Five Mistakes You are Making with Your Tech Devices that Could Cause Health Issues

Repetitive Swiping

5. Look away and remember to blink frequently to reduce dry eyes and eye strain when using every tech device. Research shows almost 25% of us suffer from dry eyes, especially those who are women of post-menopausal age, people with autoimmune disease, and those who frequently use video display terminals for long periods of time.

4. Overusing the thumb for scrolling and swiping. Saving time with a 1 handed hold of the Iphone with a thumb swipe technique? Think again, because you are more likely to develop debilitating tendon injuries from repetitively using the thumb for swiping or scrolling typically intended for the index or third finger that are better aligned to perform the task without excess inflammation and irritation.

3. Using a laptop on your lap. This position forces your head, neck, shoulders, and thoracic spine into a forward and rounded position, increasing the risk of injuries due to excess and prolonged strained to these areas. Instead, use a pillow or laptop desk to increase the height, somewhere in between easy typing height for your arms, with a level of typing closer to straight ahead for your eyes and trunk posture. Do not use a laptop for everyday use unless it is on a desk, and preferably propped 3-6 inches high on a desk with a separate keyboard that can be placed at an ergonomically correct height for the upper extremities.

Tech injuries

2. Standing all day at your new sit to stand desk. While it is an excellent idea to have a sit to stand station to reduce wear and tear on your back from prolonged sitting all day at work, standing all day is just as extreme and can lead to leg and back pain. No one position is perfect to stay in all day long. Instead, move frequently, actually walking around the office to increase blood flow throughout the day, as well as alternating sitting and standing throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is to sit for 30 minutes, stand for 20 minutes, with variations based on the individual’s comfort level in each position and whether you are currently experiencing back pain.

1. Texting, texting, texting all the time, all day long with slouching texting posture. The typical texting posture is crouched over a tiny device, and for any amount of time in this position would create immediate pain if we were not distracted by what we are texting! Sit tall with adequate back support, keep your shoulders back, and tuck your chin back (so your ears are aligned with your shoulders and your gaze is looking straight ahead), and relax the shoulders, then glance down slightly. Texting is intended for brief communication, not all day conversations, so go ahead and use the phone for longer conversations on speaker phone to reduce stress and strain on your neck, upper back, and shoulders.