Technology is, from the smallest earbud to the biggest home computer system, completely indispensable in the modern age.
These everyday marvels have streamlined our lives, entertained us, and kept us connected in ways we never thought possible a few decades ago.
But what happens when our trusted devices ‘turn on us’? Okay, perhaps it's not all that dramatic. Your phone isn’t going to grow arms and legs and start putting you in a headlock… yet.
But because tech is so ubiquitous, it stands to reason that we’re all going to fall foul of it sooner or later. Either by dropping our phones on our faces while texting in bed (guilty), or something more serious.
As experts in tech, we thought it best to share some of the most common dangers when it comes to the many devices we use, especially as data revealed that tech injuries are on the rise. Drawing on data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), we can thankfully do just that!
We all know Americans love a flatscreen TV, but who’d have thought this love could be so dangerous and contribute to 30% of all tech incidents in the USA? While tripping over cables and toppling flat screens are potential risks, the main cause of TV injuries are from lifting heavy screens around the house.
Data revealed that strains and sprains were the most common diagnosis for TV incidents, particularly to the lower trunk (AKA lower back). For example, one report highlighted a patient felt a “strain-pain since lifting a 70 inch TV at home” whilst another “was picking up a television and felt sharp lower back pain”. So if Americans can take one thing away from this study, it’s to lift from their knees or get some help!
It’s official…Americans are losing brain cells! However, it’s not from watching trash online but from tripping over curbs whilst texting and falling over phone cords and chargers.
Phones were responsible for 23% of tech injuries to Americans, making them the second most dangerous tech product in the USA. Mobile phone incidents are also on the rise, (increasing 28% in 2022 vs 2012).
General pain was the most common diagnosis followed by contusions (more commonly known as bruising), making up 16% of phone incidents, followed by lacerations (15%) particularly to the face and head.
Data also revealed “texting” and “talking” on the phone were by far the most common phrases within patient incident reports for phone injuries, followed by “walking”, “reaching” and “charger” giving us a pretty clear indication of exactly how these phone incidents occurred.
One incident reported the patient “was texting on her cell phone when she walked into a light pole hitting face” while someone else “was plugging in her phone charger when she lost her balance and fell and struck her head/face on a coffee table”.
The most common computer or video game injury diagnosis is put down to generalized “pain” (44%) and is most commonly found in the upper trunk such as chest, back and ribs which can partly be attributed to bad posture.
However, more specifically, 60% of this pain in the upper body occurs while playing video games, ranging from chest pain to even palpitations. Some examples include:
One patient “had been playing video game[s] for many hours when started feeling palpitations [in the ] upper trunk”. Meanwhile, another patient “experienced chest tightness which began while playing video games”.
So while the rush and thrill of video games can be fun, these symptoms may be a sign that it's time to put down the controller and opt for a more relaxing hobby for a while.
Meanwhile, the second most common diagnosis for computers is contusions (bruising), specifically to the foot from people dropping laptops on toes, followed by strains and sprains specifically to the lower back (18%), neck (14%) and wrist (13%) - unsurprising with the increase of office based jobs in the modern world and the popularity of gaming.
“mild pain in lower back, plays a lot of video games and hunches over while playing.”
“been working from home leaning over the computer all day, presenting with neck pain.”
“reports doing a lot of typing when she developed pain to wrist”
You may think that after a decade of technological advances, we as humans would be more aware of the dangers of our tech. However, the data is proving otherwise.
Since 2020, total tech injuries have seen an average increase of 20% when compared with the average amount of injuries per year between 2015-2019. No doubt the pandemic played a huge role in the spike of injuries as people were required to stay home, putting them in closer contact with their technology.
However, an interesting pattern has emerged when analyzing the three most dangerous tech devices (TVs, computers/video games and phones). One of these is beginning to split from the pack - phones.
Millennials (anyone from the age of 27 to 42 years old) are the most injury-prone when it comes to technology, accounting for 33% of tech-related injuries. Having grown up with technology Gen Z (16-26 years old) follows closely at 32%, then Gen X accounting for 25%. Finally, Baby Boomers only make up for 7% of tech-related injuries - challenging the popular belief that they are the most technologically-challenged.
On the whole, it's evident that TV related injuries, while historically the most dangerous tech in the USA, are on the decline. This decrease of -69% over the last decade is most likely due to TVs advancing and getting lighter as well as companies offering a service to install them properly.
Computers also began to see a decline between 2012 to 2015 of -45% before slowly increasing by 19% over the past seven years. Since 2015, diagnosis of “general pain” has increased by 49% affecting the upper body, head and hands. Meanwhile, incidents in 2015 primarily affected the foot. This is most likely due to lifestyle factors like working from home and poor posture increasing and the size of computers getting smaller over time.
Our mobile phones are continuing to climb the dangerous tech rankings over the last decade, with related injuries increasing by 28% over the last decade.
More specifically, a staggering 22% of phone-related strains and sprains affect the neck (aka ‘tech neck’) as well as texting, talking and walking with phones being the primary reasons for injuries to the face and head.
Sprained and strained ankles (17%) and lower back (17%) are commonly the result of falls and trips when texting while walking.
The continuous rise of these incidents is concerning and we need to protect the faces and ankles of America. So, to put a stop to it, Decluttr has created the perfect accessory that will allow Americans to walk and text confidently without having to miss a step.
In today's tech-infested world, while our devices have evolved rapidly, our bodies are struggling to keep up. It’s clear we need to do more to protect Americans.
Enter our game-changing solution: the "Scroll Shades."
At first glance, the "Scroll Shades" might appear to be a trendy pair of futuristic, sporty glasses, (perfect for millennials) but they're so much more. Designed with the modern tech user in mind, these glasses not only prevent the typical trip-and-text accidents, but they are also engineered using physics around light reflection to save your neck from the rigors of daily device use.
By subtly adjusting the wearer's line of sight, and bending the light through the prism, these shades promote a healthier neck posture, ensuring that you can enjoy your devices without the physical toll.
Crafted with precision, we are excited to present the first look of these innovative glasses.
The design is sleek, marrying form and function. The "Scroll Shades" aren’t just another tech accessory; they are a declaration of a healthier, more mindful future for tech enthusiasts everywhere.
We're working on the launch of "Scroll Shades", keep checking back for updates including dates and prices.
All tech data was collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for the past 10 years and injuries were analyzed by gender, age, year, location, body part, diagnosis, and severity. A link to the data source can be found here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Research--Statistics/NEISS-Injury-Data.
*Patients under the age of 16 and over the age of 65 were removed from our study to mitigate incidents related to young or older age. All statistics are based on the 16-65 age range