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Computer Related Health Problems and How to Prevent Them

May 15 2019 - Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, either at work or for pleasure? If you're spending more than four hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen, you're putting your health at risk. Unfortunately, modern technology has crept into almost every aspect of life, and in many areas, it has become a necessity. There are benefits, but there are also significant risks. Many conditions related to using a computer can be very painful and serious. It is possible to reduce the risks involved by using the correct furniture, better posture, taking rest breaks and limiting time spend playing computer games.

Posture-related Injuries

The most common computer-related injuries are back, neck, shoulder and arm pain, and headaches. The cause of muscle and joint problems are generally poor workstation design, bad posture, and sitting for long periods of time. Sitting is a problem because it reduces blood circulation to your muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. This then leads to pain and stiffness.

Such problems can be prevented by sitting at a desk which has been specially designed for use with computers. Your monitor should be at eye level, or slightly lower and your keyboard at a height that lets your elbows rest comfortably at your sides. Ergonomic chairs are also available and are designed to help your spine hold its natural curve. Taking frequent breaks, going for a walk, and stretching exercises will also help.

Eyestrain

People who use computers regularly often suffer from vision problems. Computers have bright lights, glare and flickering images that can all be a strain for your eyes. Focusing your eyes at the same distance for a long amount of time can also cause fatigue. Our eyes are designed to work best when looking at objects more than six metres away, so anything closer is putting extra demands on your eyes.

You can avoid eyestrain by tilting your computer screen to avoid reflections and glare. Your screen shouldn't be too close to your face and should be at eye level or slightly lower. Make sure you have regular eye examinations to check that headaches, blurring, and other associated problems are not caused by something else. Get yourself some glasses if you need them.

Repetitive Stress Injuries

Using a computer often means you're using certain muscles in an odd way. This leads to increased pain, stiffness, or swelling in certain areas. If you're experiencing pain in your shoulders, neck, elbows, or fingers, this could be a result of repetitive muscle use. One of the most common conditions is carpal tunnel syndrome.

This condition is so prevalent in the UK today that's now legally considered an industrial disease. If your work-related carpal tunnel syndrome was caused due to your employer's negligence, you might have grounds to claim industrial injury compensation.

To avoid this type of injury, you should have your mouse at the same height as your keyboard and position it as close to the side of the keyboard as possible. When using your mouse, it is better to use the whole of your arm rather than just your wrist. Typing gently and lightly and resting your hands away from the keyboard when you're not typing will also reduce the chance of repetitive stress injuries.

With so many things relying on technology, it can be hard not to use a computer. Nevertheless, if used responsibly they're not such a terrible thing.


 

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