Square eyes and round backs

By Misch Pautsch Switch to German for original article

Now more than ever, most of us spend a lot of time in front of screens – as you are, right now. Either because we have to, because we want to or because we have nothing else to do. At what point does this actually become a serious problem?

If you are reading this article, you are most likely sitting in front of a screen. There is a good chance that you, like the majority of Luxembourgers according to Statec, have been on the internet much more often since the start of the pandemic than before – and therefore probably look at a screen longer and more often. Well, how is your back? Do you feel a slight pulling in your neck, a tingling in your legs? Or a twitch in your thumb when a Facebook notification – ping – pops up? Just a quick peek. More than ever, we are glued to our screens because we have to, want to, have nothing else to do. Most Luxembourgers are connected to the internet for "more than five hours" a day, writes the Statec. And that's just outside working hours. This can cause severe problems, both physical and psychological – often both at the same time.

"I wish every employer who doesn't buy his staff proper chairs a really bad backache. So that he knows what he's talking about when he complains about absences, " says physiotherapist Jérôme Muller on the phone. Since it has become widespread to work in a home office, the number of people with back problems has increased even beyond the already high norm. Generally speaking, the more time people spend in front of a screen, the more pronounced and frequent back problems and pain tend to be. In addition, many people work while sitting the couch or bed, which makes a healthy posture virtually impossible. But even more problematic, according to Muller, is the mobile phone. In the typical "mobile phone posture" – often seen on a laptop as well – in which the head hangs forward at a 60-degree angle, "insane forces act on the cervical spine. 27 to 30 kilograms of weight are constantly pulling on the neck. Very few people can hold that much weight with their arms for long periods of time, let alone with their neck! As strong as the neck is, in the long run it degenerates due to bad posture, wrong seat material, too little exercise and wrong diet."

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Square eyes and round backs


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