I have been thinking a lot lately how technology has changed not only how we learn, but our actual physical learning environment. Years ago we were searching library stacks for research articles, carrying textbooks to every class and writing pen and paper notes for lectures. Now we are using our laptops, tablets and smartphones to research, type notes and even take quizzes/tests. The hours we spend in front of a screen has increased significantly, this places postural strain on the body. It is almost impossible to sit in front of a computer for hours and not experience repetitive strain of the wrists, eyes and neck/upper back muscles. In my career as Registered Massage Therapist (RMT), I see many clients who are experiencing aches and pains from working at a desk for too many hours of the day. A good strategy is to take frequent stretch breaks, however there is only so much we can do to combat the technology posture that is pervasive in our daily routine. There was recently an article on the CBS website that highlighted how bad using your smartphone is for your body as per the image below (Firger, 2014). For every few degrees the head tracks forward and down to read the screen, there is a significant increase in pounds of pressure on the upper back and neck. The muscles then become tight and knotted while the spine can degenerate faster than the normal aging process. Long story short, technology can be tough on our bodies and we need to create strategies for stress relief!
Firger, J. (November 14, 2014). OMG You Are Texting Your Way to Back Pain. CBS Interactive Inc. [Web log]. Retrieved November 18. 2014 from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/omg-youre-texting-your-way-to-back-pain/