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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Health Concerns of Using Technology

Health Concerns of Using Technology
The widespread use of technology has led to some important user health concerns. You should
be proactive and minimize your chance of risk.

                                                          Repetitive Strain Injuries
Repetitive Strain Injuries
A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons,
and joints. Technology-related RSIs include tendonitis and carpal tunnel

• Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon due to repeated motion or stress on that tendon.
• Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is inflammation of the nerve that connects the forearm to the
palm of the hand.

Repeated or forceful bending of the wrist can cause tendonitis of the wrist or CTS.
Symptoms of tendonitis of the wrist include extreme pain that extends from the forearm
to the hand, along with tingling in the fingers. Symptoms of CTS include burning pain
when the nerve is compressed, along with numbness and tingling in the thumb and first
two fingers.

Long-term computer work can lead to Tendonitis or CTS. Factors that cause these disorders
include prolonged typing, prolonged mouse usage, or continual shifting between the mouse and
the keyboard. If untreated, these disorders can lead to permanent physical damage.

                                        What can you do to prevent technology-related
                                                             Tendonitis or CTS?
What can you do to prevent technology-related tendonitis or CTS?

• Take frequent breaks to exercise your hands and arms
• Do not rest your wrists on the edge of a desk.
Instead, place a wrist rest between the keyboard and
the edge of your desk.
• Place the mouse at least six inches from the edge
of the desk. In this position, your wrist is flat on
the desk.
• Minimize the number of times you switch between
the mouse and the keyboard.
• Keep your forearms and wrists level so that your
wrists do not bend.
• Avoid using the heel of your hand as a pivot point
while typing or using the mouse.
• Keep your shoulders, arms, hands, and wrists relaxed
while you work.
• Maintain good posture.
• Stop working if you experience pain or fatigue.

                                                                  Hand Exercises
Hand Exercises
• Spread fingers apart for several seconds while

keeping wrists straight.
• Gently push back fingers and then thumb.
• Dangle arms loosely at sides and then shake
arms and hands.

To reduce the chance of developing
Tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome, take frequent
breaks during computer sessions to exercise your
hands and arms.

Other Physical Risks
With the growing use of earbuds and
headphones in computers and mobile
devices, some users are experiencing hearing

Computer vision syndrome (CVS)
Computer vision syndrome (CVS)

Computer vision syndrome (CVS)
is a technology-related health condition
that affects eyesight. You may have CVS
if you have sore, tired, burning, itching,
or dry eyes; blurred or double vision after
prolonged staring at a display device;
headache or sore neck; difficulty shifting
focus between a display device and documents;
difficulty focusing on the screen
image; color fringes or after-images when
you look away from the display device;
and increased sensitivity to light. Eyestrain
associated with CVS is not thought to have
serious or long-term consequences.

Techniques to Ease Eyestrain

• Every 10 to 15 minutes, take an eye break.
- Look into the distance and focus on an object for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Roll your eyes in a complete circle.

- Close your eyes and rest them for at least one minute.
• Blink your eyes every five seconds.
• Place your display about an arm’s length away from your eyes
with the top of the screen at or below eye level.
• Use large fonts.
• If you wear glasses, ask your doctor about computer glasses.
• Adjust the lighting.

Following these tips may help reduce eyestrain while using

People who spend their workday using the
computer sometimes complain of lower back

pain, muscle fatigue, and emotional fatigue.

Lower back pain sometimes is caused from poor posture. Always sit properly in the chair while you work. To alleviate back pain, muscle fatigue, and emotional fatigue, take a 15- to 30-minute break every 2 hours — stand up, walk around, stretch, and relax.

Evaluate Earbuds and Headphones

Earbuds and headphones are used to listen
to music and other audio files on computers
and mobile devices. Selecting the
proper product not only depends on the
style you prefer, but also the type of audio
you will be playing. Prices for earbuds and
headphones can range from only a few
dollars to several hundred dollars, so it is
important to know what you are purchasing.
The following guidelines describe what
to look for when evaluating earbuds and


• Determine which style you prefer. Earbuds
rest inside your ear, while headphones rest
over your ear. Experiment with both types
and determine which is more comfortable
for you.
• Determine the quality you desire. If you
listen to music casually and typically do
not notice variations in sound quality,
a higher-end product might not be
necessary. Alternatively, if sound quality
is important, you may consider a more
expensive set. Note that a higher price
does not always indicate better quality;
read online product reviews for information
about the sound quality of various
• Decide whether you would like a noise
cancelling feature. Noise cancelling
helps block external noise while you are
listening to the audio on your device. Noise
cancelling headphones sometimes require
batteries, and you are able to turn the noise
cancelling feature on and off. If you will be
listening to audio in locations where you
also need to hear what is going on around
you, consider purchasing a product without
this feature.

Based on your preferences
and needs, which type of product
(earbuds or headphones) is best for you?
Locate a product online that meets your
specifications. What brand is it? How
much does it cost? Where is this product

Another way to help prevent these injuries is to be sure your workplace is designed

Ergonomics is an applied science devoted to incorporating comfort, efficiency,
and safety into the design of items in the workplace. Ergonomic studies have shown that using
the correct type and configuration of chair, keyboard, display, and work surface helps users
work comfortably and efficiently and helps protect their health. You can hire an
ergonomic consultant to evaluate your workplace and recommend changes.

A well designed work area should be flexible to allow adjustments to the height
and build of different individuals.

Behavioral Health Risks

Some technology users become obsessed with computers, mobile devices, and the Internet.
Technology addiction occurs when technology use consumes someone’s entire social life.
Technology addiction is a growing health problem, but it can be treated through therapy and

support groups.

People suffering from technology overload feel distressed when deprived of technology, even for
a short length of time, or feel overwhelmed with the amount of technology they are required to
manage. To cope with the feelings of distraction and to control the impact that technology can
have on work and relationships, set aside technology-free time.

How can you tell if you are addicted to technology?
Symptoms of a user with technology addiction include the following:

• Craves computer time
• Overjoyed when using a computer or mobile device
• Unable to stop using technology
• Irritable when not using technology
• Neglects family and friends
• Problems at work or school

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