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Patient Line

Digital Natives and Posture

13 Aug 2019

We live in an era where health information is available at your fingertips through search engines, and everyone can publish their advice online. It can be challenging to distinguish between expert opinions and common myths about posture, especially as it relates to posture and back pain in young digital natives.

The Link between Back Pain and Digital Habits

According to recent expert studies, back pain in childhood and early adolescence is significantly related to back pain reports in adulthood. Extended TV time, late bedtimes, short sleeping time, and prolonged video game playing increase the risk of back pain in young people.

The Impact of Computer Use on Posture

Computer use in adolescence can lead to poor head, neck, and lumbar postures during screen time, which may affect developing neuromusculoskeletal systems. It is unclear whether this is worsened by the habitual postures adopted during prolonged sitting and standing or the sedentary lifestyle associated with it.

Effective Strategies for Preventing Back Pain

Education on posture (upright sitting and correct lifting) has been shown to be effective for at least two years afterward in young people. However, it had no effect as a preventative strategy on the incidence of back or neck pain. Holistic measures, including yoga, pilates, and the Alexander technique, show encouraging results in preventing back pain, but it is uncertain whether these are reflective of regular movement, increased flexibility, and improved mood than to posture alone.

If you are looking for more information on posture, it is advised to get the right information from the right sources. On the Patient Line website, you can find a vast array of trusted resources put together by healthcare providers. Of course, you can also always contact your doctor to inquire about your specific needs.

Written by Derek T Cawley, MMedSc MCh FRCS Orth, Consultant Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon
Edited by Katelijne Vercaeren, Eurospine Patient Line Editor


EUROSPINE is a society of spine specialists of various disciplines with a large knowledge of spine pathologies. All well-known and accepted treatment modalities for spine pathologies are represented by the members of the society. However, the Society cannot accept any responsibility for the use of the information provided; the user and their health care professionals must retain responsibility for their health care management.

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