Nowadays, computers play a major part in our everyday life. To suggest that they could be damaging our health might not be very reassuring news – getting rid of computers from our lives isn’t an option for many of us (and let’s face it, would any of us really want to live without computers?). Whilst there are unfortunately a number of health hazards to using a PC, there are also a number of ways to lower the risks of these hazards. Here are just a few of the ways using a computer can damage our health and how you can prevent this damage.
Sitting down for too long
Being craned over a computer or a laptop isn’t very good for our shoulders and back and is thought to leave many of us with posture problems later in life. Sitting down for extended periods can also lead to weight gain – particularly around the waist. This is because when we’re sitting, our stomach muscles are constantly relaxed and so start to wear away. On top of this, the knee joint can be affected by constantly being contracted.
There are several ways to limit the damage caused by sitting down for long periods. An ergonomic chair for example can help improve posture, while you can even try sitting on an exercise ball to engage your stomach muscles. There’s the option of a standing desk , which many office workers have started taking up – who says you have to sit down at a computer?
Staring at a bright screen
Staring at a bright screen all day is thought to be contributing to vision loss. Computer vision syndrome is a term used to describe the impact that screens are having, causing dizziness and headaches short-term and leading to both shortsightedness and farsightedness in the long run.
Taking regular breaks from looking at the screen can help, as can dimming the screen when working in a dimly lit environment. Getting a good amount of sleep can also reduce the damage to your eyes. If you think your vision is affected, it could be worth getting an eye exam.
Where can I get an eye exam near me? Your local optician is likely to be able to offer these services. Catching vision loss early could allow you to wear corrective vision and reduce the strain, preventing your vision from continuing to deteriorate.
Using a mouse and keyboard
Did you know that the average computer keyboard is dirtier than a toilet seat? Keyboards are often teeming with bacteria that could be making you ill. The solution to this is simply t clean your keyboard occasionally. There are keyboard-cleaning kits for getting between all the keys. You should try to never eat at your computer as crumbs that get in-between the keys are a major source of this bacteria.
Using a mouse and keyboard regularly can also lead to another danger – the possibility of developing an RSI. Repetitive strain injuries are caused by doing action continuously and can lead to numbness or chronic pain in this area over the long-term. If you feel cramps setting in in your wrist or fingers, it’s probably a sign that you’re giving yourself an RSI. Ergonomic keyboards and mice are a worthy purchase that could help to reduce this strain. You should also ensure that you’re sitting somewhere with sufficient elbow room and should take regular breaks to stop an injury from setting in.