LUMO BodyTech, the makers of the LUMOback smart posture and movement feedback system, has announced national survey results revealing a widespread phenomenon LUMO calls 'Silicon Valley Syndrome'. The survey revealed that 60% of Americans report having had health problems as a result of their use of technology or sitting at a desk.

The survey explored:

  • the incidence of such health impacts and which specific physical symptoms respondents are feeling
  • geographic, gender and age differences in tech- and sitting-caused health problems and
  • what measures people are taking in an effort to resolve these health impacts from technology usage and desk-sitting.

The study was commissioned by LUMO BodyTech and conducted online by Harris Interactive® in September among 2,019 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

"At LUMO, our mantra is that you can't improve what you don't measure," said Monisha Perkash, LUMO Co-Founder and CEO. "Because our mission is to improve the health of humanity in this digital era, we think it's critically important for everyone who uses technology gadgets - at home and at work - to understand what this data says about technology and our health and to use this data as a call to action to adopt healthier tech usage habits."

The survey revealed a number of details around how people are experiencing Silicon Valley Syndrome, including the following insights:

  • Eye strain [36%], back pain [30%] and neck pain [27%] were the leading tech- and sitting-related complaints.
  • Women (63%) were more likely to say they have experienced health problems related to the overuse of technology than men (56%).
  • 8-34 year-olds were more likely than people over 45 to try to resolve their health symptoms by simply reducing the time they spent using their mobile devices (44% versus 34%), and also more likely than 35-44 year-olds (44% versus 29%).

Other key survey findings include:

  • West Coast vs. Northeast: True to the geographic implications of the moniker Silicon Valley Syndrome and the stereotype of tech-savvy Californians, West Coast [66%] survey respondents were significantly more likely than their Northeast counterparts [53%] to say they had experienced health symptoms as a result of their use of technology or sitting at a desk.
  • Desperate Measures: Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they have resorted to taking either over-the-counter or prescription medication in an effort to resolve their Silicon Valley Syndrome symptoms, but only 36% said they had actually reduced the amount of time they spent actually using technology to resolve their tech- and desk-sitting-related health issues.
  • Generation Rx: Americans over 45 were more likely than under 45 (49% versus 39%) to take medication in an effort to resolve their Silicon Valley Syndrome Symptoms.

"Technology is not evil - in fact, it has made all of our lives easier and more enjoyable," said LUMO Co-Founder and psychiatrist Charles Wang, M.D." "But if we continue the trajectory this survey reveals of abusing technology to the detriment of our health, as usage continues to increase, it will become increasingly critical that we use it mindfully. Otherwise, we could be in for a series of pandemic level health crises over the next 20 or 30 years."

"This is why we've published this Guide to Silicon Valley Syndrome," Wang said, "which includes tips for how to set and achieve goals around building health habits for using technology, and for using tech itself to help counteract the problem."