By: Rajesh Konnur
The postural trainer, Lumo Back’s research findings examined the physical and mental health symptoms that arise spending way too much time sitting in front of a computer screen thereby giving rise to Silicon Valley Syndrome. The results show that 60% of participants reported that they have experienced adverse health effects as a result of technology.
“I have technology as much as anyone – I am a tech company founder, after all”, CEO Monisha Perkash said to Venture Beat. “While our computers and devices can help us feel more productive, this study shows that more people are using technology in ways that will devolve our bodies than those that are using it in a healthy manner. This abuse of technology could very well set up for a series of health pandemics in the not so far –off future”. Perkash said that Lumo Back’s goal is to use technology in a way that helps, rather than destroys, our body.
Eye strain is the most common ailment, followed by back pain, neck pain, headaches, wrist pain, carpel tunnel disorders and insomnia.
Women are more likely than men to be affected and are more likely to try and resolve their symptoms by taking a pill.
Young Americans are three times likely as older Americans to cut back on their use of gadgets when they start getting those aches and pains. In contrast, older Americans were twice as likely to take prescription medications to alleviate their symptoms.
The most common measures to combat SVS are posture correction, stretching, medication, taking breaks, exercise and consultation.
Back pain is widespread and pervasive problem. About 80% of Americans experience significant back pain sometime in their lives and that pain cost more than 50 billion USD per year. It is a leading cause of missed work days, disability claims, visits to the doctor, outnumbered only by the common cold.
Lumo Back found that the average American spends more than three – quarters of their work day sitting.
We sit, we slouch, we type, we strain our eyes and necks and while we may be writing prolific (& eloquent, I might add) articles, building powerful software, coordinating marketing campaigns, chatting on facebook; responding to email & generally living life in the always on internet era, we are also hurting our bodies.
Human beings were not meant to sit all day long, & the average computer worker could easily spend 48,360 hours sitting at work over a 30 year career.
Lumo Back describes sitting as “the new smoking”. People who spend the most time sitting increase their risk or diabetes, cardiovascular events and death.