(GoHealthier.com) – Using a computer is great for all the information it can provide and the work that can get done. But there are some risks to using computers for long periods. Back pain and other types of discomfort can be routine with computer use. Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce the discomfort and avoid potential health risks. Read on to learn the strategies we want to share.
Computer Use May Cause Posture Problems
One of the biggest risks for computer use may be problems with posture. People who sit at a computer all day might suffer from “tech neck” and other painful conditions. Back pain, neck pain, headaches, and stiff joints may be frequent issues for people who spend a lot of time on the computer.
What to do about it: To avoid or reduce these issues, it’s best to make sure to sit in an ergonomic chair and take frequent breaks to move and stretch. There are many chairs on the market that reduce posture issues and may make things easier for people who need to spend long hours seated at their desks. A standing desk or treadmill desk may also help.
Repetitive Stress Injuries Are Common in Computer Users
In addition to postural issues, repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome may stem from computer use. For some people, typing or constant mouse movement may aggravate nerves and tendons in their wrists.
What to do about it: A brace may help, and an ergonomic keyboard that keeps hands in the proper position may also be a way to reduce this problem. Surgery for repetitive stress injuries is available, but the goal is to stop the issue before it becomes a problem.
Too Much Computer Use May Contribute to Eyestrain
Feeling like our eyes are “gritty” after a lot of computer use may signal eyestrain. Computer monitors have a different effect on the eyes than looking at the landscape or even a television. Another reason for eyestrain is that the eyes focus at the same distance for a long time when using a computer.
What to do about it: Be sure to tilt the screen so there aren’t reflections or glare and move away from windows that also produce a glare on the screen. Position the screen at eye height or slightly lower, and consider reducing contrast and brightness to make it easier on the eyes. Taking frequent breaks may also help.
Computers May Harm Children
Children may be more susceptible to the posture and repetitive use injuries that come with computer use. There is also evidence that violent video games may make some children more aggressive. Sedentary computer use may contribute to childhood obesity.
What to do about it: While there’s no reason to keep children from a computer or other electronic devices, limiting screen time and encouraging less violent games may help. Additionally, teaching children healthy habits and moderation may benefit them overall.
Laptop Computers May Add to Injury Risk
Using a laptop computer instead of a desktop computer has become the norm for many people. But laptops weren’t designed for that. They were only meant to be used for short periods when people didn’t have access to a desktop computer.
What to do about it: The postural issues that come with a laptop can’t be solved easily due to the distance between the monitor and the keyboard. However, using a laptop for short periods and choosing a desktop computer as the primary option may reduce strain and discomfort.
No matter what type of computer you have or how much you use it, having good posture and taking breaks may lead to less pain and reduce problems and risks. For those experiencing posture issues and other problems, exploring the benefits of ergonomic options might also be beneficial.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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