Back pain, neck tension, elbow problems, poor posture or numbness in the fingers are all health problems that are now almost common diseases. What are the chances that these problems are mainly caused by smartphones and computers? Very likely, say scientists.
Journalists from tollfreeforwarding.com worked with health professionals to create a 3D model of a human as they imagine it to be in 1,000 years – marked by excessive use of technology. We invited the model ourselves
Mindy reviewed and classified whether this prediction is actually accurate.
Rounded back, stiff neck and sloping pelvis
Excessive smartphone use or long hours at a desk has dramatic consequences for posture and well-being. We don’t need to travel back to do this; today it is already a reality for many people.
The 3D model approach is not so over the top here. When the arms are held in front of the body for long periods of time, such as using a smartphone or typing on a keyboard, the pectoral muscles eventually shorten, causing the neck to hump.
At the same time, the shoulder is retracted, which puts more strain on the neck muscles. To compensate for this bent posture and still look forward, the head needs to be raised more than usual. This and the constant internal rotation of the shoulders is one of the main reasons why many people from
permanent talk about neck strain.
Unfortunately, the problems don’t end there. The entire upper body is slightly tilted forward from the pelvis. It is called
Anterior pelvic tilt and is very common in people who sit a lot.
When sitting, the hip flexors contract permanently and the muscle can become accustomed to this position. This causes the pelvis to tilt forward and the upper body with it. To compensate for the incorrect posture, the spine must form a stronger hollow back, resulting in back pain and the hunched posture seen on the model.
Nevertheless, the reason is somewhat clear: The free referral model is an absolute extreme case and would only apply if the person did nothing but look at their smartphone or work at a desk for 24 hours a day.
However, with some exceptions, it is commonplace today. People can easily sit in an office for eight hours, then go home in a car or train and settle comfortably on the sofa – probably still with their smartphone in hand. There is not much time to stand together.
If you often have to sit at a desk for long periods of time, a height-adjustable desk can help. Our eternally young Nils, who only recently faced this decision, elaborates on it:
My new desk hurts – and I need it
Claw hand and 90° elbow
Mindy’s right arm is bent at a 90-degree angle at the elbow, and the fingers are stiffened into claws. Both can be attributed to excessive use of smartphones. As with other parts of the body, the small muscles of the fingers can become accustomed to unilateral and repetitive activities.
Constantly gripping a smartphone puts the flexors of the fingers more and more over the extensors. This will bend the fingers into the paw.
The same principle applies to the elbow. In the 3D model, the hand is practically…