Computers are something most of us can’t live without, whether we use them for work or we spend hours on them in our leisure time. A computer isn’t bad for our health, but it can lead to health problems if things like poor posture and excessive screen time are not addressed. It’s important to be aware of the main computer health-related problems, so you can take steps to avoid them and continue having a positive relationship with your PC or Mac.
Back and Neck Pain
Poor posture is responsible for most of the issues people have in relation to computers. It stands to reason that sitting at a desk all day, hunched over a keyboard, is not going to be great for your posture. The muscles in your neck and shoulders will seize up and if you slouch in your chair, your back will probably seize up too. In time, all this tension and stiffness will lead to discomfort and chronic pain.
There are several solutions, the most obvious one is not spending every waking moment at a computer. But if you can’t avoid that because it’s your job, the next best thing is to take plenty of breaks whereby you get up and walk around at least once every hour.
Make sure your workstation is ergonomic. Consider investing in a height adjustable desk or switching to an IdeaPad Flex, so you can work in different places rather than being tied to a desktop computer.
Excessive screen time can cause headaches, and if you are really unlucky, that headache will become a full-blown migraine. Stats suggest that up to 90% of computer workers suffer from headaches due to screen use at night. The reason why this happens is that computer screens emit blue light. Blue light messes with our biological clocks, which impacts our sleep and leads to headaches and migraines.
The best way to prevent computer-related headaches is to avoid staring at screens in the evening. Eyestrain can also be a factor in repetitive headaches. Have your vision checked regularly, especially if you are 50+, which is when eyesight begins to deteriorate due to age.
Another point worth making is that people who already suffer from regular migraines are more likely to have them if they use a computer too much.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
If your wrist is painful, you could have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. This is a very painful condition that occurs when pressure is placed on the median nerve in the wrist. An early warning sign is a numb feeling in the fingers and hand. You may also experience weakness, which causes you to drop things or struggle to hold the mouse while you work.
There are lots of causes of carpal tunnel syndrome, but the use of a computer mouse is known to be a factor in some people. Other risk factors include being female, obese, and having an underactive thyroid.
If you experience any health issues and you feel computer use is a factor, speak to your employer and ask for a referral to an occupational therapist.