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Health Hazards using Computers – Basics

Health Hazards using Computers – Basics

We have become addicted to Computers, Mobile Phones and other Smart Devices, though we all know that there some health hazards in using them. Using computers is not physically taxing but we must take into account some health problems by not using it carefully. Smart Devices are also like that. Especially the Covid-19 Pandemic has created a situation where even children are forced to sit in front of these devices for long hours.

We all know this but unless we pay attention to the negative side-effects and take proper steps to minimize the risks, we will run into serious problems. This article discusses only about the main health issues and how to prevent them. This stands valid for using Computers and other Smart Devices.

Potential Health Hazards

  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) – Painful swelling of joints like shoulder, wrist and fingers. It becomes very serious that one may become unable to use his/her hands at all
  • Problems with Back and Neck – Long and Incorrect sitting position results in pain on your back and neck. Poor quality chairs also could trigger such pain. This affects the quality of your life
  • Strain on your Eyes and Having Headache – Even if you use an anti-glare screen, LCD or LED monitors, staring at the screen for too long is not good. You get burning sensation in your eyes, eyes become dry and even get headache. Your vision can be blurred

How can we minimize the risks

To minimize the risks of RSI, give proper rest to your wrists and hands by taking frequent breaks. People having typing-related injuries like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome may use an ergonomic keyboard. Use a wrist rest and arrange your workspace in such a way that it is not crowded.

Use a good adjustable chair having lower-back support and sit in an upright position. Position your hands in such a level that is comfortable to you while typing. You should not feel any pressure or pain while you are on the keyboard. The height of the Monitor/Screen should also be comfortable that you don’t have to look up or down. The position of the computer screen should be such that it is just below your eye level. Keep your feet flat on the floor or you may use a foot rest.

Take regular breaks and get away from the computer chair at least for 5 minutes every hour. Look at objects that are far away from you. You may use anti-glare screen to reduce the glare. Avoid light hitting the screen directly and its reflection. The lighting inside the room should be good and not too bright or dim. Wipe the screen clean of dirt, finger prints and other marks. You may get your eyes tested frequently and use eye drops (or plain water) in case of any dryness.

We will look into more details in the next article.

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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