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Published byKylan Gorton Modified over 8 years ago
PC HABITS AND YOUR HEALTH My Life Monday
While computers make our jobs easier, using them can take its toll on our bodies. More enjoyable computer usage is possible by adjusting your computing habits. These PC tips will help you find out what the best solutions to common problems are, to make computing a more healthful and comfortable experience.
To avoid eyestrain, experiment with lighting in your work area. The worst offender is glare caused by harsh overhead lighting. Try to avoid having a window or bright light directly behind your monitor or your back. With a window behind your monitor, you will be looking at it with a very bright surrounding, causing your eyes to contract, while at the same time your eyes are straining to read the small text on the screen. A bright light or window directly behind you can reflect off the screen into your eyes, causing similar strain.
Ensure your computer video resolution and refresh is set to the highest level supported by your monitor, so as to produce the clearest and most stable image possible. If you can see a visible flicker on your screen, then this is not correct and can be easily adjusted by IT staff. Increase the size of the text you are reading and lower the brightness setting on your monitor to avoid stressing your eyes. Symptoms of eyestrain can include burning, itching, tiredness, aching, watering, blurry vision or altered colour perception. Visual problems can cause headaches, fatigue, concentration difficulties and irritability.
Typing and controlling a mouse for long periods of time puts strain on your wrist. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a well recognised health problem that may be avoided doing the following: Placing your keyboard directly in front of you to avoid overextending. Forearms should be parallel to the floor, with your mouse at the same height as your keyboard. Keep your wrists in a straight, level position while typing. Use a light touch on the keyboard and mouse.
Avoid aching backs and necks by placing your computer screen and any reference material directly in front of you. The centre of the screen should be 4 – 9 inches below eye level. If your chair does not provide proper support, use a lumbar pillow, cushion or a rolled towel to support your lower back and add a footrest for further support. Check your posture. You should be able to reach the keyboard and mouse whilst bending your elbows at 90 degrees, with your shoulders relaxed. If you are stretching, this could cause problems. Your back should be straight.
Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) can affect the neck, shoulders, upper back, upper arm, elbows, forearms, wrists, thumbs or fingers. Your body will tell you if you start to suffer from RSI, as you will begin to experience some of these symptoms:- Weakness Fatigue Tingling, numbness or loss of sensation Stiffness Tremors Pain or soreness (although RSI is not always painful)
Breaks and Exercise Throughout the day, take a break every 30 minutes or so when using your computer, otherwise the body will start to stiffen and ache due to inactivity. Use stretching exercises to improve blood circulation. Blink and rest the eyes frequently to reduce eyestrain – your normal blink rate (6 -15 times per minute) is reduced dramatically while staring at a computer screen. Take a few seconds about every 10 minutes to close and cover the eyes with your palms or to focus on distant objects.
The speed and efficiency of computers has made most businesses and institutions dependent on the technology. As a result, many people spend a large part of their time working with computers. Thankfully, if certain rules are observed and appropriate precautions are taken, the risk of suffering any negative effects derived from working with PCs can easily be minimised.
Southern Gulf PII Health & Safety Team
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