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Are Computers Bad For Health?

Are Computers Bad For Health?

Love them or hate them, computers are essential in most things we do. They can provide hidden dangers, however.
With the old type of screen with the cathode ray tube, the electrons would emit electromagnetism which is not good for health. They are very rare these days and the flat screens don’t carry this risk.

Excessive computer work can still damage your health. The blue light of a computer monitor and other digital devices, like televisions and smart phones, can cause eye strain after long periods. It can also be too stimulating late at night. It will suppress the production of melatonin, which is a hormone which helps us sleep and can affect the body’s circadian rhythms. The body clock gets disturbed and this can have a bad affect on sleep patterns. It is now known that changes in the body’s clock can also affect the workings of many of the body’s organs. Such a situation can have consequences for a person’s health.

The recommendation is to stop using these screens two hours before bedtime. This might be impractical in a family and social situation, but one hour should be considered a minimum.

Even with the use of a quality chair and good sitting position, back and neck problems are not uncommon among people doing a lot of computer work. The trouble arises from the lack of movement. The cartilage discs in the spine don’t have a blood supply but rely on movement to work them and keep blood flowing around them for lubrication – a bit like a sponge being squeezed. With a lack of movement, these discs start to dry out; that’s when aches and pains begin.

The Best Solution
One solution is to stand up and move around often. Light stretching and gentle exercises can pay dividends in the long term. Knowing you have a good chair and correct sitting posture is all very well, but the best option is to stand at the computer. It’s tiring at first but the body will get much more movement this way. You will not be in the same rigid position for any length of time.

Of course it does require a special table for the computer. Flat screens don’t have the weight of the old-fashion tube machines which is a great help. The screen must be at eye level with the keyboard just below the height of your elbows.
Someone who is competent at DIY can make a suitable structure, like this one on the right.

As an additional note, millions of people might spend 4 or 5 hours a day, or even more, looking down at a mobile and that’s going to lead to major neck and shoulder problems in due course, if they haven’t already been hit by a truck while crossing a road.

Bye for now,
Jayne