When assessing the contributing factors of a potential musculoskeletal injury or condition in a population, it is important to address common behaviors that occur throughout the population. Some of the most common musculoskeletal conditions that we are seeing is back pain and neck pain. In looking into these conditions and what could be contributing to the high prevalence of back and neck pain, one of the most common behaviors seen in the twenty-first century is the use of technology all over the world, especially in developed nations.
The increased use of mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets, and cell phones, has lead to a higher frequency of sitting throughout the day as well as limited amounts of activity. In addition to the lack of activity concerns, so many individuals have experienced poor posture as a result of using technology so frequently.
The common tendency is to keep mobile devices on our laps and look down at the screen during use. This puts a lot of stress on the neck as our head is one of the heaviest parts of the body and hanging the head in front of the torso can bring about significant pain and lead to improper alignment.
There is also decreased adequacy of spinal posture as many of us do not focus on sitting up straight, keeping out head up, and pulling our shoulder blades back when we are sitting. Considering the long periods of time that the body is positioned in this way, there is ample opportunity for stiffness, misalignment, stress, and other outcomes to occur.
These problems do not only deteriorate the health of our musculoskeletal system, but we can see decreased neurological functioning, suppressed immune response, and in some cases, a decrease in mental and emotional stability.
To avoid these problems, focusing on proper posture while using technological devices is quite important. Additionally, breaking up work into segments can help increase the amount of activity throughout the day, even if it is just taking a quick walk. In practicing these behaviors, we can minimize the impact of technology on our musculoskeletal health.
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