How we are conforming to technology

From my observations and research, I have extracted four key observations and will analyze the poor postural habits we have developed in trying to conform to technology.

These observations were made at the UTS library, at home and on the train, where seated technology interaction was high. These were photographed and observed in notes and transferred into sketches.

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Figure 1: Proximity:

  • I noticed that if people sat further away from the desk when they needed to use the keyboard this caused the subjects shoulders to protrude forward which in turn caused the neck to tilt downward.
  • Studies show that although leaning backwards at an angle of 135 degrees is optimal for lumbar support (Figure A), when working at a computer combined with the need to reach the keyboard. The negative effects of over flexion of the shoulders and tilting of the head forward leads to extra pressure.


Figure A: Lower Back

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Figure 2: The Space

  • People using wheel-able chairs were more likely to adjust proximity when they changed seating positions making for a more adaptable space. This idea is crucial and one of the key elements of when we are sitting for long periods of time, which is to not sit longer than 1 hour without moving around and to not stay completely static when working. This is important as we often spend more than 6 hours per day in front of a technology device. Referred to in the video about posture in blog 4 it is suggested that having bad posture would still be better than to have good posture and remain completely still highlight the importance of staying moving and not being static. The main purpose of moving is to improve circulation (Stumpf, 2013; Dalkilinc, 2015).
  • In the computer labs when people came sat down at the computer most did not adjust the equipment. As both the chair, screen rotation, placement of keyboard and mouse are all adjustable items many were not adjusted even when the chosen seating position reflected bad posture. Some posture positions were chosen to conform to the semi fixed technology. The nature of our environment being static and not working symbiotically with each other to achieve primal posture position based on personal ergonomics and your technological needs means achieving correct posture is extremely difficult. (Stumpf, 2013)

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Figure B

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Figure 3: Hunching and Slumping

  • People tended to swap directly between hunching and slumping. As 45% of people prefer to sit forward (a negative postural position) (Figure B). From my observations we see the back and forth movement, as people move to compensate for the strained muscles through poor posture (Gokhale, 2012). When sitting hunching over your computer the strain is placed on your neck and upper back. This inevitably will lead to pain as the increased tilt can cause a weight pressure of up to 45lb on you neck compared to 12lb when the neck is vertical (Figure C).

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Figure C

Figure 4: Cross legged

  • Not as common but I still observed people crossing their legs while at the computer, which can give the appearance of straighter better posture. However crossed legs comes from the position of the pelvis rolling to far forward, meaning the vertebrae’s are unable to stack on top of each other leading to particular tension and an inability for the spine to heal itself (Gokhale, 2012; Phys, 2014).

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Figure D

  • Another problem observed is over extension of the muscles in the outer crossed leg, which over time will become strained due to over extension of the muscle. With the cross-legged position the misalignment of the body’s center can lead to musculoskeletal disease, nervous system disease and muscle strength becoming imbalanced due to compensation. (Phys, 2014; Stumpf, 2013).

To understand the correct method of seating refer to Figure D. Dr Gokhale explains the role of the pelvis as a strong identifier in posture and to imagine us having a tail which should sit out not under us. During my observations the majority of people I observed had the pelvis rolled under. Therefore this causes more pressure to the lumbar and sacral region (Figure A) accounting for the majority of 63% of posture problems relating to the lower back (Gokhale, 2012; Cooper, 2015).




Find your primal posture and sit without back pain. Perf. Esther Gokhale. Prod. TEDX. 2012.

Hara, K. (2007). Designing design. Baden, Switzerland: Lars Müller Publishers.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. and Layton, J. (2010). Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med, 7(7), p.e1000316.

Holt-Lunstad, J., Smith, T. and Layton, J. (2010). Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLoS Med, 7(7), p.e1000316.

Horrifying Chart reveals time spent in front of technology. (2015). [image] Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

Pain injury clinic. (2015). [image] Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

Joao Paulo Caneiroa, , , Peter O’Sullivana, Angus Burnettb, Avi Baracha, David O’Neila, Orjan Tveita, Karolina Olafsdottira. “The influence of different sitting postures on head/neck posture and muscle activity.” 2009. Manual Therapy. Science Direct. October 2015


Phys, J. “Comparison of Postures According to Sitting Time with the Leg Crossed.” 2014. Physcial Therapy Science. October 2015 <;.

Shoenfeld, Amy. “The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley: [Money and Business/Financial Desk].” May 2013. ProQuest. The New York Times. 4 October 2015 <;.

Stumpf, Jeff Weber and Bill. “Maintaining Concordance as Seated Postures Change.” 2013. Herman Miller. October 2015 <;.

The benefits of good posture. Perf. Murat Dalkilinç. Prod. TEDed. Youtube, 2015.

Understanding Spinal Anatomy. (2015). [image] Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2015].

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