Sixty percent of Americans have experienced health problems related to using technology or sitting at a desk, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by Lumo Body Tech, makers of the wearable Lumoback posture sensor.
“At Lumo, our mantra is that you can’t improve what you don’t measure,” Monisha Perkash, Lumo cofounder and CEO said in a statement. “Because our mission is to improve the health of humanity in this digital era, we think it’s critically important for everyone who uses technology gadgets -- at home and at work -- to understand what this data says about technology and our health and to use this data as a call to action to adopt healthier tech usage habits.”
For the Lumo study, Harris polled 2,019 Americans 18 or older via an online survey. Findings suggested that eye-strain was the most common tech-related affliction, effecting 36 percent of Americans, followed by back pain (30 percent), neck pain (27 percent) and headaches (24 percent). Less common complaints included wrist pain (21 percent), carpel tunnel syndrome (11 percent) and insomnia (9 percent.)
Women were more likely than men to report experiencing technology-related health problems -- 63 percent reported some health issue versus 56 percent of men. And the problem was slightly worse on the West Coast than in the North East -- 66 percent versus 53 percent.
Lumo also looked at how Americans approached dealing with the health problems. In general, they found that 44 percent of those with health problems had turned to medication to solve them, whereas only 36 percent had actually tried reducing their time with technology. And that response also differed among age groups.
Those between 18 and 34 years old were more likely to take the time-reducing approach than their elders. They tried to cut down tech time 44 percent of the time compared to 29 percent of those aged 35 to 44 and 34 percent of those over 45.
Lumoback, the posture sensor that debuted on Kickstarter last year, launched the newest version in August. The $150 device tracks walking, running, sitting, sleeping, posture, and, as of the new version, the number of times the user stands up each day. Aggregated data from those sensors shows that Lumoback users who work on computers for a living sit an average of 6.2 hours during a work day.