Your computer – Your health
The following is a guest post from the UK’s own Liam Tarry. Liam is helping raise awareness of the silent dangers that computers present to our health.
It’s a new year and time for a fresh start. Whether that’s getting fit and healthy or getting a new job, you really can achieve your dreams if you put your mind to it. Unfortunately, if you sit in front of a computer all day all your good work could count for nothing.
First off there are a host of computer-related injuries out there – from Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) to backache and eye strain. It makes sense to ensure your working environment is as safe and as healthy as it can be. Although internet protection and antivirus software are great for protecting your PC, just how can you protect your body?
How long do you sit in front of your PC?
Many people find that the longer they sit in front of a PC, the greater the risk of a muscle injury. Back and neck pain, sore shoulders and joints can get worse the longer you sit slumped at your computer. Sitting for a long time causes fatigue, reduces circulation and leads to pain.
To solve this problem, make sure you position your monitor so it is level with your eyeline. Adjust your seat so your elbows rest comfortably on the desk, and take frequent breaks to avoid eye-strain.
If you find you spend all day typing, or clicking your mouse, you could suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury, or “RSI”. Symptoms include stiffness and swelling of your joints.
To solve this problem, keep your mouse close to your keyboard. Type lightly and gently and mix up your tasks so you’re not spending hour after hour typing away. You could also stretch your hands occasionally throughout the day to increase blood to your joints.
If you focus on one thing for too long, you will strain your eye muscles. We’re not designed to spend hours looking at one thing, close up, for too long. Throw in an illuminated computer monitor and you could be asking for trouble.
To solve this problem, make sure your room is illuminated. Position your screen so it is not too close to your face. Have frequent breaks and rest your eyes – focusing on far away objects can help.
With more of us using laptops rather than sturdy desktop PCs, it’s increased the risk of aches and pains – simply because the keyboard and monitor are so close together. Throw in the fact that you have to carry it about and it can cause a whole host of spinal and shoulder injuries.
To solve this problem, try and use peripheral equipment whenever possible – like a mouse, docking station and separate monitor.
If you work with computers, you are at risk of back, neck and shoulder pains, headaches, eyestrain and repetitive strain injuries. You can reduce the risk to your health with improved posture and better working habits.