Computers are ubiquitous. Nowadays computers are in every house and people are perpetually on it. Many children also find that using computers gives them a sense of power and accomplishment. Adding to that, the Internet has become an indispensable element of life for most people in the contemporary world.
The increased use of computers in the workplace has brought about the development of a number of health concerns. Many people are unaware of the side effects of their Hi-tech lifestyle on themselves, their friends, and their family until it's too late. If working with computers is a major task for you daily, you need to consider these associated potential health risks as well:
- Eye strain: Eye strain is a common health hazard associated with prolonged exposure to computer screens. Constantly staring at the computer screen can cause dry or watery eyes because of your tendency to blink less. Excessive strain on eyes - Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) - can lead to itchy or burning eyes, blurred or double vision and headaches.
- Neck and shoulder pain: One of the main causes of neck pain in middle-aged people today is from straining their neck to see and work on a computer screen. Excessive computer usage also leads to stiff shoulders. All this results from poor seating posture and poor organization of work equipments on the desk.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome: Typing at the keyboard or using the mouse for hours and hours is horrible for your joints. This can lead to Carpal tunnel syndrome which causes pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the arm (mostly in the thumb and index fingers). Carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway on the palm side of your wrist that protects a main nerve to your hand and nine tendons that bend your fingers. The compression of the median nerve in this tunnel causes the signs and symptoms associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Social Disconnect: The Internet has provided us a platform where we can say whatever we want and be whoever we want. This can have a negative effect since people act in certain ways and say certain things that they otherwise wouldn't do in real life.Many people believe that the Internet experience is the same as real life experience, but it's not.
You can use the following tips to avoid some of these complications:
- Occasionally close your eyes for a few minutes and every 20 to 30 minutes or so look away from the computer to stare at an object in the distance. You can also sit back and just close your eyes for a few minutes.
- To prevent dryness and irritation in your eyes, blink more often. Every 20 minutes, blink 10 times by closing your eyes very slowly.
- Spread fingers apart for several seconds while keeping wrists straight.
- For the back pain and other muscular related problems, it is suggested that you get up every hour, stretch and move around for about five minutes.
- Sit straight while you are working on the computer. Avoid slouching.
- Use a desk lamp, if possible, instead of an overhead light to reduce computer eye strain.
- Make sure to keep the computer screen placed at least 18 inches away from direct view and top of the screen is at the eye level.
- Using an ergonomically correct workstation can improve painful situations quickly.
Along with these tips you should also disconnect from time to time. You can do so by:
- Always use a computer for a specified amount of time. Health experts say screen time at home should be limited to two hours or less a day. Only in that time you should check your email and do all the necessary stuff.
- Try to keep your laptop away from you as much as possible. Try keeping it out of your sight so that you don't get tempted to use it.
- Go out for a walk or a bike ride with your friends and socialize.
These are just some techniques to avoid injuries and disorders from computer usage.