(ABC4) – This year we are once again finding ourselves ringing in the new year with forethoughts of caution and concern as the COVID-19 Omicron variant continues to spread. Working from home is beginning to look like a possibility for many businesses and workers across the nation; however, not without consequences. According to a new study carried out by Harmony Healthcare IT, technology-related ailments have risen 40% since the start of the pandemic. The company analyzed Google search patterns over the past 18 months and established the most commonly-searched tech-related injuries.
Based on Google search volume analysis, there were six top conditions that have resulted from technology ruled lifestyles. The number one tech-related ailment with 32% of U.S. states searching for an online remedy was wrist, hand and finger pain. In second place, both eye irritation and lower joint pain affected 16% of states each. Fourteen percent of Americans were concerned with tech-related neck pain, while the remaining 12% of citizens were searching for ways to relieve either their back pain or shoulder and elbow pain.
Harmony Healthcare IT reports it is not only our cramped home workplaces that are inducing all of this pain but gaming addiction, as well, the term that earned the No. 1 spot in the list of tech ailment searches.
Regardless of the cause, it is obvious that Americans have been suffering due to how reliant we’ve become on technology throughout the pandemic. Since Oct. 2020, searches associated with back pain specifically from working on a computer have skyrocketed 142%, while searches linked to computer related eye strain have risen 78%.
Americans have even normalized a new medical condition through their Google searches called ‘cybersickness’. The condition is a syndrome brought on by too many hours spent staring at screens, and includes symptoms such as confusion, dizziness and eye irritation. Searches for cybersickness have soared 171% during the pandemic.
Ironically, Americans have also turned to the Internet to cure them of their aches and pains. Google searches for the best desk chair for back pain have surged 392% while searches for the best office chair for back pain have climbed 236% since Oct. 2019.