Pandemic Affects the Body

3D Model Shows How an Increase in Tech Use During the Pandemic Affects the Body

37% increase in online searches for ‘brain fog’ since 2019 Future human reveals how increased reliance on technology could change the human body forever by 2100

There has been a severe increase in technology-related physical and mental strain since the pandemic began, potentially affecting our long-term health, as more people work from home and need to be connected at all times.

According to new research by telecommunications company, TollFreeForwarding, there has been a 17% increase in Australians searching the phrase “neck pain” since 2019. Furthermore, there have been increased search volumes over the same time span for the terms “back pain,” “hand/wrist pain,” and “burnout,” with the most drastic being a 37% increase for “brain fog.”

Citing a wide range of scientific research and expert opinion, TollFreeForwarding worked with a 3D designer to create a future human that visualises the effects of modern technology, sped along by the increase in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The model, named Mindy, displays a number of physical and mental changes brought about by consistent exposure to modern devices such as smartphones, laptops, and televisions.  

Among them is “text-claw”, a condition that sees the hand permanently mold into a claw-like grip, occurring after sustained periods spent holding a smartphone.  

The head and neck feature multiple noticeable anatomical changes. One of which is a thicker skull, helping to protect the brain from the damaging radiofrequency waves emitted by smartphones. Relating to the scientific theory that a sedentary lifestyle is reducing human brain capacity; Mindy also has a smaller brain.  

Technology has also seen Mindy’s posture alter from a typical upright position. Computer work and the craning of the neck to look at smartphones has resulted in the model’s arched, hunched back.  

Relating to extensive research on the mental health effects of technologies such as social media, Mindy is also at greater risk of conditions such as stress and anxiety.  

Other anatomical changes realized in Mindy include: 

  • “Tech Neck”: The neck muscles have grown to limit the damage caused by poor posture due to monitor and smartphone use. 
  • Second eyelid: A second eyelid filters out excessive light emitted from technology devices. 
  • 90-degree elbow: Following excessive phone calls using a smartphone, the elbow is bent to 90 degrees. 

Dr. Nikola Djordjevic from Med Alert Help explained the science behind some of the anatomical phenomena:

“The way we hold our phones can cause strain in certain points of contact – causing “text claw” and “90-degree elbow” also known as the cubital tunnel syndrome.”

Jason O’Brien, COO of TollFreeForwarding, said of the findings:

“There’s no doubt that technology played a major role in keeping the world on track during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is disheartening to see the toll that the increase in technology usage is taking on us, both physically and mentally. Overexposure to technology can sometimes come to the detriment of our health, and Mindy is our visual representation of a growing body of scientific research.

“While we fully recognise the benefits of technology in our lives, it’s worth evaluating your technology usage to ensure your health isn’t being damaged in the long-term. We also want to stress the importance of taking a break from looking at screens, correcting your posture, and getting daily exercise, outside if at all possible.”

Full imagery of Mindy can be found here

Matthew Giannelis

Secondary editor and executive officer at Tech Business News. Contracting as an IT support engineer for 20 years Matthew has a passion for sharing his knowledge of the technology industry.

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