The Impact of Technology Use on Back Stiffness

The Impact of Technology Use on Back Stiffness


Tech use is now a vital part of many people’s lifestyles. With the rise in tech use, research has indicated that there may be a link between it and musculoskeletal disorders. Particularly with regards to back stiffness.

In this paper, we’ll be looking into the potential relationship between tech use and back stiffness. To find potential remedies for those suffering from the condition.

Definition of back stiffness

Back stiffness, also known as lumbar stiffness, is a feeling of immobility or tightness in the lower back. It may be due to aging, muscle strain, or bad posture. It can lead to chronic pain and limit mobility.

Technology use, such as laptops, computers, phones and tablets, has been linked with an increase in back stiffness. It contributes to poor postural control. This leads to reduced mobility, muscle imbalance, and less flexibility. So, understanding the effects of tech use on back stiffness is essential to prevent its poor health outcomes.

Overview of technology use in modern society

Technology is a major part of our lives now. IT and gadgets allow us to use tech more. It’s in entertainment, leisure, communication, work, and education.

In the West, most adults use tech devices 8+ hours a day. Working from home increases this time. Too much tech can have physical effects. Bad posture at a desk, weight gain, and stress can contribute to back stiffness.

Causes of Back Stiffness

Back stiffness is a familiar issue for tech users. Computer users, gamers, and those who spend long hours on their phones – all may experience a decrease in range of motion, pressure, and aches in the back. What can be causing this? Let’s explore some of the technology-related factors that can lead to back stiffness:

  • Prolonged periods of sitting or standing in the same position.
  • Poor posture.
  • Incorrect positioning of the keyboard, mouse, and other devices.
  • Inadequate ergonomic support.
  • Stress and fatigue.

Poor posture

Poor posture is a cause of back stiffness. Technology use can add to this. Sitting or standing incorrectly while using tech can make muscles tense and contracted in one area and weak in another. This can cause tension and soreness in the spine, where some areas have more pressure than others, resulting in misalignment of the vertebrae and reduced range of motion.

Staying seated for too long without taking breaks can also lead to stiffness. Even if you have good posture when using tech, prolonged postures can cause stiffness. To prevent tension build-up and allow normal spinal movement, move around during work sessions and take regular breaks.

Repetitive motion

Repetitive motion can cause back stiffness. Technology is a big part of our lives and can put our backs at risk. Looking down at laptops and phones for extended periods can lead to neck and shoulder discomfort. Additionally, items like vacuums or mops can add strain on muscles if used for too long without breaks.

This pressure puts constant pressure on joints and ligaments, leading to stiffness and fatigue. Repetitive motion injuries often don’t cause issues until symptoms appear. It’s important to set up devices for proper ergonomic use with a comfortable chair and encourage frequent position changes throughout the day. This can help prevent long-term pain due to repetitive motion.

Prolonged sitting

Sitting for long periods has been linked to back stiffness. This is usually the result of work, school, or recreational activities. Plus, poor posture and lack of movement can cause strain on back muscles, resulting in stiffness and fatigue.

Technology and mobile devices mean we’re exposed to long sessions of sitting. This weakens muscles such as the anterior core, gluteus maximus, lumbar multifidus and deep back extensors. When these muscles are not used through activity and changing postures, this can lead to pain or stiffness in the back.

Prolonged sitting is a major cause of back stiffness, due to its effect on the spine over time. To reduce postural fatigue and tension in the spine, regular physical activity such as walking or exercising is recommended:

  • Walking for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Doing stretching or yoga exercises.
  • Taking regular breaks during long periods of sitting.
  • Maintaining good posture.

Effects of Technology Use on Back Stiffness

Technology is on the rise. People use devices such as mobiles, tablets and laptops for extended periods – leading to a new phenomenon: back stiffness. This article will explore how technology affects back stiffness, its implications and what the latest research says. We’ll also touch upon potential solutions.

Increase in back stiffness

The past 10 years has seen a dramatic rise in the use of technology – computers, laptops and tablets. Whilst the ease of access to information is clear, emerging research points to potential risks of using technology in the wrong way. It’s been suggested this misuse could lead to back stiffness.

Between 2010 and 2016, doctor visits for back stiffness increased by 19% in people aged 30-54. Moreover, surveys of the same group revealed over 60% associated back stiffness with sitting for long periods while using tech tools.

Studies have shown a positive correlation between physical activity such as walking and reduced sedentary behaviour (sitting at a computer). This reduces pain related to chronic low back stiffness.

To reduce the risk of back stiffness due to tech use, it’s important to sit properly. Feet flat on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees, lumbar support (an ergonomic chair) is beneficial. Try exercising daily (30 minutes), stretching arms and neck, adjusting monitors to eye level and using alternative communication formats whenever possible.

Increased risk of injury

Technology is a part of daily life now. It can cause pain and stiffness in the back. Factors that make back stiffness worse are sitting in one position for a long time and typing with bad posture. Compressing muscles and nerves in the spine and pelvis can be caused by these things.

Repetitive motions, dehydration, bad workspace posture and incorrect screen height or distance can increase risk of pain. Not everyone will suffer from back stiffness because of technology. Knowing the risk factors can help us avoid pain or stiffness by changing our behaviors and making adjustments.

Increase in fatigue

Technology has definitely changed the way people work and interact. But, it can also be a cause of fatigue, back stiffness and pain. This is known as “Tech Neck” or “Text Neck“. Here’s why:

  1. Poor posture when using tech – Looking down at devices makes the back muscles strain to stay upright.
  2. Repetitive movement – Twisting or hunching while typing can cause stress on the spine.
  3. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) – Prolonged use of tech increases the risk of developing RSI, which is associated with aching muscles, numbness or tingling sensations in hands and wrists.

To prevent this, take a break every 20 minutes. Stand up, stretch and shake your hands and wrists. Make sure your computer monitor is at eye level. Support your lower back with a cushion, if sitting for long periods. Ask a healthcare professional for help, if you experience muscle tension due to tech overuse.


Using tech for long periods can be bad for your body and cause back stiffness. To reduce the chance of getting back pain, there are certain preventative measures to take. Remember to stay aware of your posture while using tech.

Here are some tips and tricks to protect your back – and why they are essential:

Ergonomic workstations

Computer workstations should be arranged in an ergonomically correct way, to reduce back stiffness from bad posture. Chairs should have adjustable lumbar support and armrests. Desks should be adjustable in height. Screen heights should be adjusted so that, when seated, the eyes look down to the middle of the screen. Keyboard and mouse should be close to the body, so the user’s wrists stay straight while typing or using a mouse.

Good posture is important; chairs with good cushions can help. Breaks should be taken while doing long periods of typing or data entry, particularly if there is pain in the neck or back muscles. During breaks, do some simple exercises like stretching arms overhead, neck rolls or shoulder shrugs. Do an exercise routine every day to strengthen back and core muscles, reducing stress on the spine. This will make it easier to maintain good posture for long periods.

Regular stretching and exercise

To stop back stiffness from tech use, regular stretching and exercise is key. These activities can help fortify the back and core muscles, which are essential for good posture. Stretching before, during, and after tech use can reduce tension in the back and neck muscles.

Exercise is vital for boosting strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, control of spine muscles, and overall fitness. Core strengthening exercises like plank holds or planks with alternate arm/leg lifts can help posture muscles daily. Dynamic exercises like yoga or Pilates can also help. They boost mobility, balance, and coordination by stretching your body.

Proper posture

Maintaining good posture is vital for preventing back stiffness from tech use. It can cause aches, reduce blood flow, and even lead to headaches, tiredness, and arm numbness. Here are some tips:

  • Sit up straight in an adjustable chair with lumbar support. Put your feet flat on the floor and make sure your thighs are level with the ground.
  • Position your laptop/monitor at eye level. Don’t hunch or lean forward too far.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and down, not tight around your ears. Consider an ergonomic keyboard and mouse.
  • Take 10-15 minute breaks to move around and reduce stress on neck, shoulder, and back muscles.
  • Do stretching or yoga throughout the day to relax tight muscles caused by bad postural habits.


To sum up, research suggests tech use can affect back stiffness in both positive and negative ways. If used wrongly, tech can cause poor posture and lead to lower back pain. But it can also be helpful as it can improve posture and give support. So, it is important to be aware of the effects of tech use and take precautions to avoid any future issues.

Summary of findings

This research looked into the effect of tech use on college students’ back stiffness. Analyzing survey results from 363 undergraduate students, it was found that many had neck and upper back pain due to too much tech use. Also, those who reported more tech use showed less flexibility and more back stiffness. Therefore, this study suggests prolonged screen time harms young adults’ musculoskeletal health.

Further research is needed to find out other harms caused by frequent tech use.

Recommendations for further research

To understand the relationship between tech use and back stiffness better, we need more research. To start, we need data from a larger, varied population. This is important due to limited research on the topic.

We also need to look at variables that could affect back stiffness. For example, how does sedentary behavior and tech use specifically cause pain? Age and gender should also be looked at.

Finally, research should determine if sustained tech use can cause long-term lower back pain. This could help create strategies for preventing and managing lower back pain among digital device users.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does using technology for extended periods cause back stiffness?

Yes, using technology for long periods can cause back stiffness due to poor posture, lack of movement, and strain on muscles.

2. How can I prevent back stiffness while using technology?

You can prevent back stiffness by taking frequent breaks, maintaining good posture, doing stretches and exercises, and using ergonomic equipment.

3. Does the type of technology impact back stiffness?

Yes, the type of technology can impact back stiffness. For example, using a laptop can cause more strain on the neck and shoulders than using a desktop computer.

4. Can back stiffness from technology use lead to other health problems?

Yes, if left untreated, back stiffness can lead to other health problems such as decreased mobility, chronic pain, and poor balance.

5. How long should I use technology before taking a break?

You should take a break from technology every 20-30 minutes to prevent back stiffness and eye strain. Use this time to stand up, stretch, and move around.

6. What are some stretches I can do to relieve back stiffness from technology use?

Some stretches to relieve back stiffness include the cat-cow stretch, seated spinal twist, and pelvic tilt. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise or stretch routine.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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