McXtra Care Newsletter | June 2019


It is a given fact today that technology is an integral part of our lives and is advancing day by day to give us all facilities and conveniences at our fingertips. Laptops and mobile phones form the backbone of corporate and professional life so there is no option of doing away with them!

But we can certainly become aware of the health impact these gadgets are causing so that some protective measures may be taken timely and appropriately.

Some alarming stats…..

In the last 10 years, the amount of daily time spent on smart gadgets (laptops, i-pads, tabs and smart phones) has gone up by 65%! The global average is 5 hours a day, but for urban working class, corporate employees and students, it is 8 hours a day or more!

Impact on different parts of our body….

Here is a glance at the effects of technology on our health and some related new age diseases and terms often being used today. The red and green pictures below show the incorrect and correct postures to help understand and avoid impact on our body and health.

Impact on Arm and hand

Computer wrist refers to pain in the wrist and fingers, and also a loss in firm grip which comes on as a result of long hours of typing on the laptop.


Cell phone Elbow is a painful and strained elbow due to continuous holding and balancing mobile phones. Sometimes using hands free or speaker phones could reduce the elbow strain.


Texting thumb is the result of constant swiping and texting on screens which makes the thumb the painful and stiff.

50% use one of the thumbs, mostly the right one or the writing hand thumb while 15% use both thumbs for texting. 35% use the index finger for texting, therefore they will suffer from a similar pain stiffness of the index finger.

This is because of the semi-bent or stiff posture the thumb or finger is in for many hours. Stretch the thumb or finger backwards, hold for a few seconds and release, after every few minutes of swiping or texting.


Impact on the neck

Our heads weigh between 4 to 5 kg but as we angle them down around 15-60 degrees to look at our phones, the effective weight on our necks increases to about 12kg at 30 degrees, rising to 27kg at 60 degrees!

With smartphone users now spending an average of almost 4-5 hours a day with their heads dropped down, this results in “700 to 1,400 hours a year of excess stress seen on the cervical spine” and imagine carrying an extra weight of 15-20 kg on your neck for 4-5 hours a day!

Text neck is the new age disease resulting from this leading to head pain, neck pain, and further even arm pain and numbness.


Effect on general health, sleep and stress…

As they say sitting is the new smoking! Technology ensures that we are almost 30-40% more sedentary thereby, increasing obesity, stress and cardiac risk. Sitting in the wrong posture continuously can cause strain and pain in right from neck, back, wrists, knees and feet.

Try allotting a technology free time daily, which becomes the time to spend with colleagues, family or friends indulging in real world activities.

Avoidance of techno-meals is a good idea, so no smart phones or I-pads during meals and not to rush through meals just to be re-united with technology again!

Avoid bedtime usage and certainly don’t sleep next to gadgets! Your gadget should not be the last thing you see when you sleep and the first thing you see when you wake up!!

Take regular breaks and take a short 3-5 minute walk every 1-2 hours at least before getting back on your desk and simple stretches


Computer Vision syndrome (applies equally to laptops, I-pads and smart phones) is the new age disorder due to the effect of technology on our eyes!

It basically has two important components:

Dry, or tired feeling in the eyes – This happens because of a drop in the number of times one blinks due to staring at a screen. This results in more evaporation of the tears, less circulation and distribution of tears in the eye and inadequate lubrication of the eyes. The eyes feel tires and dry, and sometimes redness, an itchy or burning sensation along with blurring of vision especially during shifting focus, may appear.

Frequent headaches and tired/strained feeling at the forehead due to constant eye muscle strain coming with focused staring on screens at close distance for prolonged periods.

Five Easy ways to overcome Computer vision syndrome…..

  1. Frequent Blinking – To train yourself to blink more, try to get in the habit of blinking every time you breathe. If already suffering from dry eyes, use a preservative free tear substitute eye drop for a few days till you train yourself to blink regularly.

  2. Appropriate Screen and room brightness – Avoid dim, dark or very bright background light (like sunlight or harsh bright room lighting). The same goes for the screens. In fact, the screen and background lighting should be similar in brightness. Windows should be on the side, rather than behind or in front of the screen. Lighting is best on ceiling rather than walls with LED better than fluorescent lighting. Antiglare coating on screen and on spectacles reduce glare and strain.

  3. Appropriate Screen position and text – Make sure the center of the screen is at or slightly below (20 degrees below) never above your eye level at a distance 1.5 to 2.5 feet. Enlarge the reading material and avoid reading fine print for long durations and especially in moving vehicles. Low contrast between text and background increases eye strain. Black text on white background is least strainful.

  4. The 20-20-20 break – To minimize eye strain: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away (usually towards the end of a standard size room or best look out of the window if there is one).

  5. Correct any Eye number – If symptoms of eye strain continue, visit an optometrist (who sits in a spectacle shop) or an Eye doctor to get your number tested and wear corrective spectacles. You may have to make separate computer glasses, as the distance or near vision (reading) glasses may not give you the best strain free vision for computers especially if you are over 40 years of age. Antiglare coating on spectacles, for prolonged computer usage is useful to reduce glare and strain.




2 – These lights are better than fluorescent ones

5 – This hormone helps you to sleep

8 – Avoid _______ meals



1 – Frequent _______ helps to prevent dry eyes

3 – _______ is the new smoking!

4 – Too much whatsapping can give you the _______ thumb

6 – Imagine an extra weight of 15 kg for 4-5 hours daily on your _______

7 – _______ on white gives best contrast to read


Laughter is the best medicine!

– Medical content courtesy – Dr Varsha’s Health Solutions


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