Claw-like hands, smaller brains, and 90-degree elbows could be part of our future if we don’t pay more attention to our posture — and everything but screens.
CERRITOS, Calif. — A hunched back, a clawed hand and a second eyelid could be common features of human anatomy in the future, a new computer model reveals. A new report warns that the overuse of technology could steer human evolution in a direction that leaves people deformed from what we consider normal today.
There’s no doubt that technology now plays a constant role in many people’s lives, but what does all that screen time really do to the human body? The researchers worked with a 3D designer to create a “human future” that represents all the problems that long-term technology use can cause.
Specifically, they were inspired by a new survey that found that the typical American uses the Internet seven hours a day. With this in mind, the team took into account a wide range of scientific studies and expert opinion examining the physical and mental changes resulting from constant exposure to smartphones, laptops and televisions. The results were shocking.
The research project, commissioned by TollFreeForwarding.com, led to the development of the 3D model, named “Mindy”. Researchers predict that desk work and craning their necks to stare at smartphones will lead humans to hunched backs in the future. Currently, many people are constantly adjusting their position to look down at their phones or to look up at their desktop screens. Studies show that this strains the parts of the body that affect posture.
“Spending hours staring at your phone strains your neck and unbalances your spine. As a result, your neck muscles have to work extra hard to support your head. Sitting in front of the computer in the office for hours also means that your torso is pulled in front of your hips rather than stacked straight and aligned,” says Caleb Backe, health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, in a statement from TollFreeForwarding.
Text Claw and Elbow Problems
One of the most notable changes is the development of the “text claw,” a new term that describes how the hand begins to permanently take on the shape of a claw due to constant holding of a smartphone.
Future humans may also evolve to have a 90 degree bend through the overuse of cell phones to make calls. This condition would leave the elbow permanently bent at a 90 degree angle.
“The way we hold our phones can cause strain at certain contact points, causing ‘text claw’ and ’90 degree bend’, also known as cubital tunnel syndrome,” says Dr Nikola Djordjevic from Med Alert Help.
“This syndrome is caused by pressure or stretching of the ulnar nerve running through a groove on the inside of the elbow. This causes numbness or a tingling sensation in the ring finger and little fingers, pain in the forearms and weakness in the hands – keeping the elbow bent for a long time.
Will humans have a second eyelid?
Interestingly, Mindy’s model predicts that humans may eventually develop a unique defense against too much blue light from digital devices – a second eyelid.
Previous studies have shown that exposure to blue light can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other health issues. Excessive screen time can also lead to headaches, eye strain and even poor vision, especially in children.
“Humans may develop a larger inner eyelid to avoid excessive light exposure, or the lens of the eye may be evolutionarily developed so that it blocks incoming blue light but not other high-level light. wavelength like green, yellow or red,” says Kasun Ratnayake from the University of Toledo.
Technical neck and smaller brains
Finally, “Mindy” reveals that future humans will likely suffer from a severe case of “tech neck”, where muscles grow to limit damage from poor posture. Additionally, Mindy’s skull is thicker to help shield the human body from harmful radio frequency waves allegedly coming from smartphones.
Studies show that a sedentary lifestyle can reduce the capacity of the human brain. With that in mind, Mindy also has a smaller brain than humans today. What’s more, all of this may make future humans more vulnerable to mental health issues like anxiety and depression, the researchers say.
“Technology gives us so much. Convenience, connectivity, entertainment and more, but there’s a tradeoff. Overexposure to technology can sometimes be detrimental to our health, and Mindy is our visual representation of a growing body of scientific research,” says Jason O’Brien, COO of TollFreeForwarding.com.
“While the benefits of technology for individuals and businesses are too great to ignore, it’s worth evaluating your use to ensure your health isn’t harmed in the long term.”
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