Meta analysis with 234 retrospective studies from 1986 to 2007 revealed that 6.3 out of 10 employees working in front of computer screen feel ocular-visual (cons 4 of 10 among other employees) problems, the median age being at 57 years.
In DuPont Inc, United States, 535 accidents counted during two years (1999 and 2000), eighty-one percent were related directly or indirectly to CTS (carpal tunnel syndrome).
The Northern California Kaiser Medical Care Program conducted a study of 1583 pregnant women in 1988. The study revealed a significant number of obstetric problems in women who worked over 20 hours per week on a computer during the first three months of pregnancy.
Primordial prevention of the problems
Numerous scientific studies have shown that when we do not meet certain ergonomic constraints, the computer may become hazardous to our health. This danger increases significantly when we spend more than four hours per day watching our screen. Every part of the body is exposed to the risks of the computer. You should know what the conditions that are related are, what causes it, how to protect yourself by using ergonomic equipment, exercises, changing job pattern and what the laws are to pretect employees.[Soft Break]
Internet Muscular tension
When you are browsing the Internet or you are playing your favorite sport, if you apply the same muscles repeatedly and inappropriately, you will experience a problem: muscle pain, eyestrain or another, either now or later. Good posture, good habits and proper work environment can help you effectively minimize these, though cannot eliminate the risks. They are professional hazards. Your body will never adapt to your desktop computer or laptop computer usage or work, but rather the contrary is the truth. The mission of several institutes is to prevent muscle imbalances and relief through massage therapy and related disciplines. Its action is to manually perform acts stimulating the self-correcting mechanisms to prevent tissue degradation and in restoring their functions. The practitioner’s hands mobilize and stimulate different tissues depending on the type of aggression. This technique is applicable to all ages, for therapeutic purposes or not.
Psychology: The Internet Addiction
Comparing Internet addiction with the addiction to alcoholism, drug addiction and pathological gambling creating familial disharmony and broken marriages, career crumbling, young people turned to professional criminals; some research suggests that six or even ten percent of Internet users should be seriously affected.
Internet addiction as seen by a psychologist
Internet addiction is a relatively new phenomenon. An individual who faces a problem of addiction is an individual who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What is Obsessive Compulsive disorder?
When you go to bed at night, you may forget whether you locked the door or not. It is natural to get right out of the bed and check once. Think of someone who is periodically getting up (say every fifteen minutes) from the bed to check the lock. He understands it is wrong (Insight is present and that is why he is not considered “mad”, in common people’s term.) You might have recalled some real person from your real life, who practices this type of repetitive action. The most common is washing to get rid of dirt.
Site on the Internet for addiction
The classification criteria of this disease in order to create a differential diagnostic that can be found on the net; A critical research conducted by Kimberly Young, statistics that show the evolving phenomenon of the Internet addiction.
Most common practices are:
- (Data presented with one hundred twenty-five (125) IT professionals, conducted by All India Institute of Medical Science, the paper is yet to be published so, the SD, Standard error of mean, P value are not given) [Soft Break]
- Checking e-mail unnecessarily more than five times a day. The compulsion increases with “no new e-mail). “In our study, 5 males checked up to 28 times per day on average, when emails to his account were blocked. Finally, they started to check Junk box, deleted items. After 65 days of study, 70% was opening typical spam emails with potential risks, 5% even stopped their antivirus software as the programs were disturbing them, as per their version.”[Soft Break]
- Surfing social websites, spending more than two hours per day; chatting with friends who can easily be talked to over phone or in person.[Soft Break]
- Surfing adult websites, even websites loaded with known risks.[Soft Break]
- Solitary surfing (Feels disturbed when someone is at the room where the computer is, when the affected user is surfing).
Satisfaction or compulsion (How to stop addiction?)
Simply, if you feel you are getting addicted, go on a small vacation without any device with you that allows Internet communication. If it does not control the behavior, you should consult a Psychiatrist.
Living with your computer
This new media responds with a thirst for communication that challenges all systems of information transmitted earlier. However, the dream of direct expression through a technology that can make everyone an expert leads to many people very frustrated.
Other psychological problems include:
- Increased risk of Alzheimer disease
- Frank Psychosis (Schizophrenia)
Ergonomics and computers
Problems in the workplace:
- 43% of the posts causes postural constraints.
- 37% have a screen brightness set too high or too low.
- 24% have an inadequate seat: typically small or slender.
- 22% do not have a work plan.
- 21% of screens have glare.
- 9% have a screen too close to the eyes.
Ergonomic equipments are good for health?
The hardware can cause various physical problems, particularly due to poor posture. Some manufacturers now offer hardware “ergonomic hardware.” With these products, the doctor may well be safe than be sorry … starting with himself when he hooked the microphone. (From Article by Dr.Herve Cassagne, JAMA)
Back pain, vision problem. It accuses the computer of all evils. Often exaggerated. Still, at home or office, kids and adults spend time watching TV. Here are the rules for work or play more comfortably.
The ergonomics of your equipment and its positioning
Principles to be: screen, keyboard, mouse, chair, table, documents, and phone — the distances and angles in respect to the workstation. Causes and solutions to your problems with fatigue, visual, cervical, at the shoulders, on the arms.
(Advice given by a professor at the school Cégep du Vieux Montréal.)
As personal computers were introduced into the workplace, ways have been found to reduce various problems caused by the intensive use of such equipment. The two main components are posture and vision.
Better to use ergonomic mouse and glare protecting computer screen. Further research and development of non-flat keyboard is needed for normal human hand posture.
Special note on orthopedic problems: Carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, low backache are the commonest problems in I.T. sector arises due to wrong posture or badly designed human interface hardware.
Just an example how ergonomics can prevent these conditions.
Most of the cardiologists and radiologists perform echocardiography with a geometrical average of 55 patients per day in India. The patients have a median age of 47yrs. Ninety-seven percent do not complain of any orthopedic problem. We came to the conclusion that the excellent design of the console (clickable double track ball, easy GUI of the Operating System, hot keys, ease of use involving both hands for the Echocardiography and USG machines) along with the chair, positioning of the patient prevents it. However, almost 4-5 high-end servers can be bought with that price against one echo machine. We cannot expect such high-end Human interface device for general computers. Still trackball with neutral positioning of wrist can be expected.
-Prolong sitting can cause hernia (Right: It is itself not a risk, but may aggravate.
-I wear glasses, so my eyes are already weak, using computer can harm more (Right: Depends on the disease. If it is simple myopia, wearing glass in fact acts as a barrier for the rays)
Prolong computer usage sickness:
Symptoms are Nausea, dizziness, eye soreness, a sense of dissociation from time and space. Another symptom can also be an ill-defined headache.
“…this is the most dangerous condition as thought of today. I personally believe this is an alarm from the reticular formation that the hippocampus is being overloaded. Numerous patients of younger age group, particularly those uses laptop or desktop heavily complains too. We can inform our patients to stay completely away from any form of computer for at least 5 days after it has started. For now, only symptomatic treatment is done. Cohort studies are needed to establish the definite relation with cerebella degeneration….” (Respected Dr. Casper; November 2010, The Health, for Internal circulation only).
To make it easy: Hippocampus is an important part of our brain that plays important role in memory and other functions of the body. Reticular formation can be thought as a processor cum cable connecting it other parts.
There are a typical square feet of floor area, typical cubic feet of air space, maximum hours of work allocated for any employee as per law.
You can search for the relevant laws in your country. Remember, we work for pleasure and to remain healthy. If your job is making you ill, either you need to change the job role to suit your mental and physical health or work to change the conditions.
Note: Please do not self diagnose your disease. This article is intended to give a general idea about the common health related problems arises due to overuse of computers. Always consult a health professional for any specific problem.