Did You Know Long Term Computer Use Is Unhealthy?

Did You Know Long Term Computer Use Is Unhealthy?

Computer related health problems

Life in the modern age is all about time saving methods with little or no use of hard labor. The idea of inventing such electronic gadgets was to make it easier for humans to live in the world; however, our dependence on technology has increased tremendously over the years. Not just time saving gadgets, but it is also the era of Internet, which has made the extensive use of technology both at home and at work possible.

The computer is one such electronic device that is used widely these days in the form of a work desktop, a laptop or even an iPad to carry around with you. According to a survey done in 2008 there were as many as 64 lakh people who used the computer every day, which was predicted to increase to a crore by the year 2014.

So dependent are we on the mobile that we have given up on face to face communications, everything is done online today. The ease of access provided to us by the use of Internet on the computer has increased our laziness to such an extent that we don’t need to use our hands to shut off or put on even lights at home or work. Continuous and prolonged use of computers maybe saving our time and effort, but it has also brought on computer related health problems that we had never heard of before.

Not many know how extensive the damage caused by computers can be. Not only does it affect us physically, it is also harming us mentally, emotionally and compelling us to spend our precious time and money to use it so much. Even though we know some of the ill effects, we still can’t give up use of computers today.

We Thought We Would List Down a Few Computer Health Problems.

Computer Posture Related Injuries:

Sitting at your desk in front of a computer is a necessary evil today. However, there are times when we forget that the way we sit can often lead to other computer posture related injuries. We often end up with sore and tired muscles in our shoulders, arms and our feet. Not just muscle issues but incorrect posture often leads to back pain due to computer use, chest pains, numbness in our arms and shoulder. Incorrect posture could be caused by sitting in an uncomfortable chair or the workstation does not support the right sitting position.

What you can do: To overcome issues related to posture here is something you can do.

  • Make sure the desk and your chair are adjusted in such a way that your computer screen is at eye level. If not, then the level of the screen can be lower than the eye level.
  • When you sit in the chair your back should be straight while your feet are vertical to the floor and your elbows resting at your side.
  • Do not sit in the chair for long stretches. Take small breaks from work, stand up and stretch your muscles or simply take a short walk. These help to overcome muscle fatigue from prolonged sitting.

Injuries Caused Due to Continuous Use:

If you are one of those who is always suffering from pain in your neck, shoulders or arms then you should know it could be repetitive stress injury. When you use your muscles in an awkward or difficult position you may feel a stiffness or pain or swelling in your muscles, especially in that area. For e.g. continuous use of your thumb while typing on your phone can affect the fingers and your wrist causing Carpal tunnel syndrome. Another example is when you type on the keyboard without the right support, it may cause your fingers or wrist to stretch incorrectly which may turn painful after sometime.

What you can do: To overcome issues related to continuous use of a computer

  • Place your mouse next to the keyboard and use your entire arm to move the mouse instead of just the wrist. Avoid moving your wrist after setting it in one place.
  • Type with a gentle touch, avoid keeping the wrist in a certain position while typing.
  • Stretch your arms or relax then when you are no longer typing or using the mouse.

Computer Eye Problems:

Prolonged usage of computer means you are exposed to a continuous glare from the screen or flickering images. Bright lights and focusing on the screen without blinking may lead to dry eyes. Sitting in front of a computer for more than 4 hours at a stretch every day may also cause Computer vision syndrome.

What you can do: To overcome computer related eye issues

  • Keep the brightness and contrast on your screen to a minimum, to avoid stressing your eyes.
  • Try tilting your screen in order to avoid the glare
  • Make sure you look away from the screen after a short while and also blink. Keep a minimum distance between screen and you.

Computer Related Headaches:

Headaches are common when you suffer from increased muscle soreness in your neck, shoulders or at the base of your skull. Straining your eyes while using the computer may also cause issues with your vision, which may need correction. These factors can cause headaches which you need to take care of.

What you can do: To overcome headaches caused due to the computer

  • See an ophthalmologist to get your eyesight tested.
  • If you tend to look down or stretch your neck sideways constantly, it may cause neck pain. Make sure you stretch or circle your neck to release pent up tension.
  • Take breaks in between.

Computer Related Obesity:

According to a few research studies prolonged or continuous use of the computer is one of the main causes of sedentary life issues and obesity in children.

What you can do:   To overcome weight issues caused due to sitting in front of the computer for hours together

  • Limit the amount of time your children spend to use or play on the computer
  • Motivate your children to play outdoor games or even consider taking up a hobby.
  • Enroll or involve them in extracurricular activities.
  • For working professionals, they should avoid computer usage once they have reached home. Your body and mind need to relax after working during the day. Visiting the gym or going for a jog can help you stay active after sitting at your desk for so long.

Computer Related Health Issues:

Technology has a huge impact on how ever emote and behave in various situations. Too much use of computer, ill health, pressure at your workplace, the environment at work can make you vulnerable to stress. The longer stress goes untreated, the more you are prone to suffering from other computer related health issues such as lack of concentration, fatigue and dizziness.

What you can do: To overcome health issues caused due to computer use

  • Make sure you take preventive measures to avoid stress
  • Try a few natural tress busters or take up yoga. Practice a few poses that help to relieve stress

Now that we have enumerated a few computer related health problems, you should try and practice a few tips offered so that you do not suffer from too much computer use.

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Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad