Posted on Dec 26, 2023, 4 p.m.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has been operating an injury surveillance and follow-back system called the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) for over 45 years to collect data on consumer product-related injuries across the United States, and it uses this data to create nationwide estimates of product-related injuries. For this report, all tech data was collected by NEISS for the past 10 years and injuries were analyzed by year, location, gender, age, body part, diagnosis, and severity.
Tech-related injuries have increased by 20% since 2020, and Millennials appear to be the most prone to this type of injury. This increase is attributed in part to the restrictions keeping people at home during the pandemic causing greater reliance on technology. TV-related injuries are declining thanks to lighter models and installation services, but phone-related injuries are increasing.
Ranked #1 for tech-related injuries, televisions are currently responsible for 30% of all tech-related injuries, with the majority stemming from lifting heavy screens causing strains and sprains, particularly to the lower back. When moving large objects/devices it is important to remember to lift from the knees and if possible, find someone to help you move it.
If you are reading this on a mobile device while walking, you may want to lift your head up and look where you are going because texting and walking is well on its way to becoming the most common tech injury cause across the entire nation due to being distracted. From tripping on cords to walking into things, and the strain from poor posture/looking down at the device for long periods of time, mobile use causes a wide range of accidents and an array of injuries. Currently, ranked second, telephones and accessories represent 23% of tech-related injuries, causing general pain, bruises, and cuts to the face/head. Thus, safety experts have added distracted walking to the list along with distracted driving as a danger.
Ranked third for tech-related injuries, computers, laptops, and video games aren’t far behind being responsible for 22% of their fair share of physical damage. This tech contributes to a range of injuries that largely cause pain in the upper torso area such as the neck, chest, back, and rib areas. This pain is typically attributed to the user having poor posture during prolonged use causing neck pain or tightness across the chest for example. However, as remote work becomes more common, contusions from dropping laptops on feet, and strain to the lower back, neck, and wrists are becoming more prevalent.
Stereo and audio components are ranked fourth for tech-related injuries, representing 14% of tech-related injuries, with lodged foreign bodies in the ear and ear/hearing-related damage being the main areas of injury in the range of damage obtained from these technologies.
Finally, rounding out the top 5, batteries are responsible for 7% of tech-related injuries, with ingestion being the most common injury.
For better or worse, technology seems to have become an almost inseparable part of life for many people, ranging from little earbuds to video games, mobile phones to home computers, and appliances to health monitors among other devices in this growing field. Based on this report from NEISS, while it is clear that we are becoming reliant on our devices, it is not without risks, as the report reveals some eye-opening statistics about some of the tech-related injuries.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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T.W. at WHN