Staying healthy physically and emotionally is difficult when you work an 8-hour job on a computer five days a week.
Working with computers daily strains eyes, weakens neck and back muscles, and damages wrist nerves. Fortunately, you can tackle these by taking appropriate simple steps.
Here, we’ll look at the adverse effects of working on a computer and see how you can protect yourself.
1. Chronic Back Pain
Sitting down for long durations can compress your discs, causing chronic pain. In fact, a study found that prolonged sitting without breaks decreased the distance between L4–5 discs. It is also reported to increase the chances of diabetes by 112%.
There are two ways you can reduce the harmful effects of sitting for long.
A. Leave your desk: You shouldn’t sit for more than 30 minutes in one go. After 30 minutes of sitting, your body will burn lesser bad fat from your arteries. And after 2 hours, the level of good cholesterol will drop by 20%. So, you have to get up in between even if it interrupts your work.
B. Maintain the right posture: You must sit in an ergonomic posture to ease the discomfort of sitting for long. Given below are a few tips to maintain a healthy sitting posture.
- Ensure your sitting position enables your elbows to remain at right angles with the desk.
- Make sure that you can slide your fingers under your thighs at the leading edge. If not, use a footrest.
- Check whether you can insert your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the chair. Use a backrest accordingly if you can’t.
- Use a cushion to slightly arc your back to reduce the strain on your spine.
- Press your buttocks at the back of your chair.
2. Strains Eyes
Prolonged use of digital devices severely affects your eyes and can cause DES (Digital Eye Strain). Some symptoms of DES are dry eyes, tiredness or soreness of eyes, and headaches. According to several studies, more than half of the American population suffers from this disease.
Here are two things you can do to avoid straining your eyes while using a computer:
A. Eliminate Blue Light: Blue light is linked to little sleep, increased chances of cancer, and poor mental health. Let’s see how you can avoid this:
- Adjust the settings on your computer to filter out as much blue light as possible. Often, computers have a feature that reduces blue light. This feature creates a slightly orange hue on screens.
- Use blue light glasses. They are said to help block the blue light from damaging eyes.
B. Adjust Position: See to it that your gaze falls in the middle of the computer screen when you sit.
B. Take Breaks At Regular Intervals: Look away from your computer at least once every 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you can exercise your eyes by looking far away.
It would help if you also blinked more. Blinking helps restore the water content of the eyes, preventing dry eyes.
3. Poor Mental Health
Working on a computer is associated with sleep disorders, stress, anxiety, and depression. A study on the effect of computer use said that 24% of men and 34% of women who used computers for long periods experienced sleep disturbances. Also, more than 20% of men and 30% of women reported feeling depressed.
A. Avoid blue light (explained in detail above)
B. Invest time in self-care: Since working with a computer is stressful, you should spend a significant amount of time on yourself. This will give your brain a break from computers and direct it to recharge. You should engage in activities that involve moving your body.
Few things you can do are:
- Cook your favorite meal.
- Go for a run or walk.
- Take dance classes.
- Clean your house.
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