Computer Use: Problems You Should Be Watching Out For

A computer is well nigh indispensible for most of us, it is difficult to imagine working without its aid, and we use computers not only for work but also for play so it is prolonged time spent at the computer you’re talking about.

And prolonged computer use brings with it, long periods of intense concentration, prolonged gazing at the monitor, repetitive activity such as typing and mouse use, etc.

Various problems such as eye strain, posture related musculoskeletal problems as well as mental stress have been associated with this computer use and related activity.

Musculoskeletal problems: Long periods on sitting in one place in one position, particularly if one’s chair is badly designed or does not offer sufficient support, or if one had the tendency to slump, alters one’s posture, so that it deteriorates.

Bad posture can cause a lot of problems such as chronic back pain, neck pain and other aches and pains as well. Sore muscles, headache, stiffness and pain in the shoulders and upper back can also result from computer use.

Muscles and tendons tend to become inflamed and irritated due to being in the same position for long periods and this can cause what is known as overuse injury. Any weakness, numbness, pain, reduced mobility and swelling should be noted; these could be due to overuse injury.

Eye strain: Eye strain happens because of prolonged staring at the monitor screen. Starting at the same point and distance for hours on end, will cause eye fatigue. Also we tend to forget to blink, and this causes eye dryness and strain. The fact that you are constantly staring at a lighted surface is also potentially problematic and adds to the fatigue.

The eye strain can in turn lead to blurred vision, temporary inability to focus on faraway objects and headaches. It is not clearly established that eye fatigue can actually contribute to damage to eyesight, however eye problems are seen to be connected to long term computer use at times.

Computer vision syndrome is specific computer related problem that you may want to watch out for. Symptoms of this computer related problem include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, fatigue, eye strain, dry, irritated eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes.

If the area where you work has inadequate or improper lighting, (bright overhead lighting or glare) or air moving past the eyes (e.g. overhead vents, direct air from a fan), then this problem could be further aggravated.