In today’s era, the use of computer is a necessity for many people. It’s an inevitable part of life nowadays. Excessive use of computer brings up a load of health consequences along with it. Alas! We don’t care much about the health damages related to computer use. If you work for more than 5 hours a day in front of a computer- then, surely you are at a greater risk of a wide range of health problems- eye problems, obesity, nerve pain, joint pain and heart problems. Listed below is a list of 5 health issues related to excessive use of Computers and countermeasures:
- Eye problems: Brightness of the computer screen is the culprit here. Flickering and very high-resolution images put hefty strain on the eyes. Eye issues start from dry, irritating, watery, and itchy eyes. Later, it tends to reduce your vision power and may even develop into a cataract in the later stages of life. According to research studies, computer vision syndrome- a degenerative eye problem can also occur. The syndrome causes severely reduced eyesight, blurred vision, watery eyes, and Glaucoma attack. The eye problems generally won’t start within a day, it develops gradually.
Countermeasure: The remedy to avoid eye problems includes decreasing the brightness of the system; using a computer shield screen to decrease the strain; blinking eyes after every 30 to 60 seconds and giving a break to screen time after every 45 minutes.
- Musculoskeletal problems: It refers to the problems that affect muscles, bones, and joints. When it comes to computer use, these problems are faced majorly in the neck and back area. Incorrect posture while working on the screen causes musculoskeletal problems. Hunching towards the computer, lying down while working, resting back on a slope surface and keeping your computer on a wrong angle can cause such problems. The health issues include severe back pain, neck stiffness, neck pain, and in severe cases may even lead to cervical spondylitis.
Countermeasure: To avoid musculoskeletal problems, attention should be given to the sitting posture and the computer screen. While working, the monitor’s viewing angle should be kept above the neck level so that one need not to look up or down. It can be done by keeping the computer on a high table or keeping a pile of book under the laptop. Alternative to this is shifting your chair and matching it with the screen’s angle. The screen should be kept at 900 angle always. Additionally, it is also recommended to do some head exercises in between. Rotating your neck 10 times clockwise and anti-clockwise is a very good exercise to avoid neck stiffness and pain.
- Obesity: Obesity is a lifestyle disorder which has become a new normal these days. A sedentary lifestyle with very little physical activity make any person put on weight easily. While working in front of your system, you work tirelessly without taking any rest. But, the fact is- you spend the whole day sitting on your chair. Prolonged working hours promote excessive caffeine intake and unhealthy eating habits as well. Heft hours of sitting, improper diet patterns, excessive caffeine consumption gives rise to obesity. When you work for long hours on computer you tend to do emotional eating like grabbing a packet of chips, sipping aerated drinks or a cup of coffee. According to health experts across the world, obesity, if left untreated, can make a person susceptible to a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems and even cancer.
Countermeasure: Include physical workout in your daily routine. Try to exercise for about 150 minutes in a week. Exercise can be as simple as walking and can be done at any time of the day. Additionally, small lifestyle changes like taking a walk for minutes after every 1 hour of continuous sitting, using stairs wherever available, walking down to the office, walking while talking on the phone and eating healthy food. Nuts and fruits are a good option over packaged snacks. Similarly, replacing your cup of coffee with green tea is not a bad idea as well.
- Cardiovascular problems: There is no direct relation between excessive use of computer and heart problems, but, indirectly it hampers the heart functioning in many ways. Long hours of sitting in front of computer, work pressure, stress and unhealthy diet are the factors which can lead to cardiovascular problems. Long sitting hours in front of the computer may slow down the body metabolism to reduce the calorie burning rate. Also, it hampers the blood circulation and heart pumping rate. The combined effect would be- deposition of cholesterol and saturated fats on the heart muscles to make the blood vessels narrow and thick. It makes the perfect environment to cause high blood pressure. Scientific studies have revealed that continuously sitting for more than 6 hours a day increases the risk of heart diseases by many folds.
Countermeasure: One cannot avoid sitting while working in an office, but, can easily adopt some healthy habits. Take short breaks of 5 to 10 minutes- go for a brisk walk. Walking and mild exercises in between the working hours prove to be beneficial in the long run of life. Additionally, another important aspect is eating healthy foods for preventing cardiovascular problems.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: It is a stress-induced injury caused by repetitive movement of joints, especially the wrist. In this condition, the carpal ligament of the wrist gets inflamed pressing the median nerve. The syndrome is caused due to constant handling of the mouse and constantly working on the computer keyboard. The syndrome causes a lot of pain in the wrist, stiffness, soreness, and an irritating sensation in the forearm.
Countermeasure: The only solution to it is a correct posture while working on the computer. The correct posture should be as such that the forearms and wrists should be parallel to the thighs. The mouse should be held lightly and should be operated with both the hands. Try to switch the hands on mouse while working, give a break of 2 minutes to your fingers, stand and stretch your arms up to increase the circulation.
Computer use is irrevocable in today’s era, but, you can at least prevent the damages caused due to it by including above explained simple lifestyle habits. Compromising your health for a better career is not a wise idea. So, adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle to make sure that you attain all your professional goals without compromising on your health.