One more occupational hazard! Health problems caused by use of computers is increasing. I may be late but I want to say it nevertheless.
That this is computer age. From writing a letter in the office to choosing the color to paint your living room its computer in use all the way.
And it doesn’t look like there is any escape from computers or a more suitable replacement for them at least in the near future.
With countless conveniences, the computer also brings some health issues.
Let us discuss health problems caused by computers with corrective measures.
Main Health problems caused by use of computers
We sit in front of the computer looking into the screen without taking a break and staring at the monitor without blinking.
That causes many health issues that can cause serious problems in the long way.
Although this hurts many parts of our body, the usage of computer and technology is part of our life nowadays and we can’t avoid using it.
Before the problems go out of hand we may learn how to using this machine in the correct way, let us deal with it.
The Problems That Occur Because of The Usage of computers
1- Lower back Pain
Causes: Wrong type of chair or desk, Right chair an desk but wrong posture, Sitting on the edge of the chair, sitting with all the weight on one buttock by sitting cross legged.
Corrective Measures: Always go for a chair that has a mechanism for lowering and raising the height of the backrest. Never buy a computer chair that has solid arms rest.
2- Neck Pain
Causes: While typing when one is moving the neck up and down, left and right too much it causes neck pain. Use of wrong type of glasses (like bifocals), Height of screen. It may sound strange to some of you but some people sit on the computer with mouthpiece of phone hanging around their neck. This casual attitude is not cool at all!
Corrective Measures: A document holder is a must to restrict neck movement. Take opticians advice and go for special glasses that you can use while in front of the computer. Screen’s height should be adjusted parallel to eyesight not too high and not too low.
3- Pain In Wrists & Fingers
Causes: Height of the chair not adjusted properly. If you have bought the right chair you might a well make use of it! Striking the keys too hard. Mouse is not close to the body.
Corrective Measures: Height of the chair should make a perfect L between the shoulder, elbow and wrist. This ensures fingers and keys or mouse are at a perfect horizontal. Clicking finger is also horizontal for that perfect wrist support. Mouse should be placed right in front of the shoulder, close to our body.
4- Strain In the Eyes
Causes: Glare from monitor, sun glare directly coming in straight on to the monitor from windows, lighting arrangement of the room are some causes that put strain on the eyes.
Corrective Measures: The correct thing to do is to place the computer table between lights and not directly under them. The best alternative is to switch off the overhead light and switch on the angle poise lamp. Ask your optician to put slight tint coat on your glasses. Adjust monitor’s contrast and brightness. Make sure the distance is right.
The Infertility caused by the usage of computer is because people are sitting for long hours and don’t realize that their internal organs are at pressure.
Especially for men, that their organs should be one degree cooler than their body temperature and when they’re sitting for long hours that makes the sex organs temperature to rise.
In women also, causes the pressure in lower abdominal and cause many feminine problems.
To avoid this: It is better to take a break every 45 minutes and walk for at least 15 minutes.
Doing that, will be a very good exercise and keeps you away from that type of problems and forces the blood flow to run again to your lower part of your body.
6- Flat Butt
Sitting for long hours will make your body shape to change. Flat butt is one of the most issue with that especially for women.
Try to do squat every day in order to keep your body shape in the great way as possible.
Doing that will save you with the cost of body contouring and fat cavitation treatment.
Arthritis is the most common health issue for all office workers or people who are sitting all day with a minimum amount of physical activities.
There is an expression says that: If you don’t use it , you’ll loss it.
This is exactly what happens to people who don’t have enough exercises and sits all day in the same place.
The body circulation stops and it causes inflammation and swollen feet as well.
8- Weight Gain
It is obvious that if you don’t do enough activities your body will accumulate fat and as a result you will gain weight.
Obesity is the number one issue with the use of technology including computer.
The amount of obesity is very high in the modern countries that using computers and the number one health problems caused by use of computers is in more advanced countries.
However, if people try to have a regular exercise schedule in their weekly plan that will be a good health benefit for the majority of people.
Headache is the most common issue for people who are using computer a lot.
It can be because of the eyes problem, dehydration, nick problem and lack of sleep.
Many people just totally forgot about their body while they are using computer, especially programmers, or game players/testers.
As a result, their body becomes stiff and dehydrated as well because they forget to move, eat or drink all day.
I’m one of them 😉
10- Children Writing Skills
The majority of the children just don’t want to writ with pen or pencil anymore because they are so use to the usage of the keyboards.
This is the number one issues at schools and all the teachers are trying to make sure the student are able to write an dictate the words.
Parents should not allow their children to use any technology gadgets more that 20 minutes per day if they want their children become successful with their education.
Some Important Tips & Reminders:
Wrong chair or a chair not adjusted properly can result into knee, buttocks and shoulder pain also. Get to know about posture breaks and wrist exercise. Room temperature also plays an important part.
Pain in the muscles may result into spasm if temperature of the room you are working in is very low.
To avoid dehydration work in a room with fewer computers and people and avoid endless rounds of tea and coffee.
Take to water. It won’t turn you into fish! Keep everything you need like stationery, CDs etc at a distance that you can reach without overstretching yourself each time.
Drawers also should be easily reachable and smooth to open.
Keep the above facts in mind and have a long and fruitful working relationship with computer.
Neck Pain Causes, Diagnoses and Treatment
Neck pain is a common problem, especially around middle age and later. It has been observed that around 50% of people above 50 years of age have neck pain at some time of the time or the other.
Neck pain occurs anywhere from the bottom of head to the top of shoulders. The possibility of its spreading or extending to the upper back or arms exists and if this happens it is likely to restrict neck and head movement.
Neck pain mostly occurs because of activities resulting from prolonged movements of the neck’s muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and joints.
This sometimes strains muscles or sprains ligaments, which sometimes may also result in injury.
Activities like trying to paint ceiling, sleeping with your neck twisted, slouching, or simply remaining in one position for a long period of time can all cause pain in the neck.
Neck pain can also result from injury from an accident on vehicle or fall from a ladder, or even because of infection in the neck area.
Your doctor through a medical history and a series of physical examination usually diagnoses neck pain. During the examination, the health professional checks the following:
(i) your neck’s range of motion (ii) the doctor may try to identify the areas of tenderness and also nerve-related changes, like numbness or weakness in the arms or hands.
Your doctor may recommend medicines, i.e. painkillers course, restricting certain activities, which may be worsening the situation like use of computer, or watching television for prolonged duration.
The doctor may also suggest exercise.
I the extreme cases doctor can also advice surgery. Depending upon the stage of pain and condition of ligaments etc the doctor arrives at a decision.
The earlier the issue of neck pain is addressed the better. For that matter even back pain or any such common pains like pain of the knee etc.
The earlier the causes are diagnosed the better, easier and less complicated it may turn out to be.
How to Minimize Cell Phone Radiation & Eyes Damage
Computer, iPhone, iPad, Android devices and Cell phones might emit radiation and they harm the users big time.
But trying to do away with your cell phone to steer clear of the potential health damages it can cause is not an option anymore.
Computers, laptops, and Cell phones these days are your camera, video recorder, hand-held computer, apart from your lifeline to staying in touch with your work and family.
The question is how do we continue to use this device of great convenience with reduced health issues?
World of digital and computer usage in extreme is a real concern for the users health issue of usage of the computer.
Emission of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) from cell phones continues to become a growing concern.
Government doesn’t seem to be doing much in spreading this awareness because big-time profits and government revenue is linked to it.
Electronic devices such as computers and cell phones give out radiation plume.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that majority of cell phone headsets have a wire that can function like an antenna, and simply make matters worse.
Cell phone industry and the government have suppressed scientific data which go against using cell phones to protect their own interest.
To minimize damages caused by computer and digital gadgets we can practice the following things:
1- Make sure that you are not talking on cell phone unless you are using a speakerphone or headset specifically designed to reduce radiation.
2- Speakerphone use may always be not possible as most of the time you are in a public place and talking on speakerphone is not an ideal option.
3- Switch off your cell phone when you are not going to use it. Reduce its use to bare minimum. And last but not the least keep it as far from your body as possible.
4- Go for cell phones, which will help to minimize EMR emissions.
5- Opt for a cell phone that delivers crystal clear sound.
6- Choose a cell phone that provides volume and sound control that are flexible.
7- Make sure your earphones are sturdy and adjustable ergonomic shaped and fit comfortably.
8- Also ensure that it delivers trouble-free day-after-day operation inclusive of everything right up to storage space.
What Triggers Headaches at Work?
Headaches are one of the most common problems at work especially if you have to be on the computer all day.
Probably even before toothache which seemed to top the pain chart!
Headaches can start anywhere and anytime. And it’s hardly surprising that they quite often occur while people are at work.
Furthermore, it’s worth going a little deeper and learning more about headaches at work and some specific environmental reasons, which may be the reason why some people suffer on the job.
According to a research more than 16 million working days are lost each year because of migraines.
Some types of headaches can cause very painful symptoms, which may last up to around 72 hours.
These headaches at work sometimes are so severe that concentrating on the day’s work becomes tough.
So much so that sometimes headaches make you temporarily bed ridden. Even movements get restricted.
Coming to the core issue;
What really triggers headaches at work place?
Well there may be many factors that can trigger headaches;
1- Most of work related headaches are related to stress due to work or not getting along with people.
Headaches at work may be a result of stress, worry, tension, anxiety etc about workload, deadlines, demands of job (or worrying about problems at home in the work place).
2- A dispute or argument with a fellow worker senior or junior can also result in headache.
3- Improper working conditions like;
- Computer monitor
- In appropriate office desk
- Office chair
- Stuffy, noisy, dry, dusty or smoky atmosphere.
4- Headache could also be a result of poor lighting or uncomfortable chairs that can give tension on spine and neck.
5- Excessive use of computer is also an important factor that we cannot afford to ignore. Such headaches are called computer vision syndrome.
6- Being on one job for hours without taking breaks in between.
7- Constantly sitting in one position on the computer and staring on the computer monitor for hours and staring at the computer without giving your eyes a break can also give headache.
8- Missing or skipping meals is also why some people get headache in the office. Such people are invariably in a hurry to rush to office on time and to meet the deadline they conveniently miss lunch or breakfast.
9- Working late in the office. Till wee hours of the next day and again reaching office on time the next day can also give headache.
This is due to loss of sleep.
In long run they can result in black outs.
These should be avoided at all costs. Partying and drinking through the night and making it to office on time the next day gives a headache too.
One must keep these reasons in mind and realize that they are all within control.
It is within our circle of influence to avoid them.
Headaches at work may also have an adverse affect on our growth and can affect our career adversely because of health problems caused by use of computers.
What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
People have become more familiar with the condition of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) recently.
This health issue problem that is because of working with typewriters, computers and cash registers, some musicians and factory workers (meat and fish packers; airplane assembly) are all prone to this syndrome and this case is known as a repetitive motion injury.
In addition, arthritis, pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, and some pituary abnormalities also lead to CTS.
What happens with CTS is that the median nerve in the wrist is compressed.
This nerve is responsible for movement and sensation in the hand.
It passes through a small passageway created by bones and ligaments in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. If there is a swelling in this area the nerve’s functioning will be affected.
Estimated that women aged 30 to 60 are most prone to developing CTS and are more likely to develop it than men.
Older people are more at risk than younger people.
The symptoms manifest themselves as;
- and a pricking sensation that spreads over the palm and touches the forefinger, middle finger and thumb and some part of the ring finger also.
There may also be a pain traveling from the wrist to the arm and shoulder or to the hand and fingers.
Symptoms progress over weeks, months, or years.
If the symptoms persist then the person affected may develop a weakness in the muscles making it difficult for him to grasp objects. If left untreated, the muscles start to atrophy and may lead to weakness, loss in sensation, or paralysis.
There are no tests that can identify a specific cause for CTS. It is likely that a lack of oxygen and decreased blood flow can lead to the swelling in the wrist.
Some work conditions described earlier or medical problems such as autoimmune diseases can also lead to CTS.
If you’ve had an injury, or surgery or fracture of the hand, wrist or forearm you may develop CTS years later.
Abnormalities of the hand or wrist can also cause CTS.
Notably, people build up a protein called beta-2 microglobulin when they have had hemodialysis for severe kidney damage and the greater the buildup the more the risk of CTS.
Alternatively, other medical conditions that cause CTS are amyloidosis, Down’s Syndrome, and acromegaly.
1- Sometimes a tumor that has developed on the median nerve can cause CTS and surgery will improve this condition.
2- Some kinds of medications, hormonal changes, and finally genetic factors can all lead to this syndrome.
Specifically in women, breastfeeding, the postpartum time, and menopause can all cause temporary or permanent CTS.
3- It has also been established that smoking and alcohol abuse are associated with CTS. Stress, poor nutrition (with high levels of low density lipoprotein), and previous injuries lead to a higher risk of CTS.
4- CTS can be a minor temporary condition or become a major crippling disease so that the sufferers are no longer able to live normal lives.
Health Conditions Of CTS
The constant pain and the inability to perform their daily tasks such as driving a car or working in the kitchen or following their usual hobbies all affect the individual. This can lead to severe depression.
There is no single method of prevention. The underlying medical condition can be treated but for the rest its just common sense that reduces the risk factors and minimizes the risk of developing CTS.
Less stress should be laid on the wrist and hands. The work area should be made more comfortable. Good posture and exercise will help relieve and strengthen the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. Adequate rest should be taken at intervals and tasks should be varied.
CTS can be a crippling condition so approach it with common sense and knowledge.