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How is Excessive Computer Usage Affecting Health and How You Can Safeguard It

17 January 2024

Imagine going through tens and hundreds of books to write a 50-page assignment on paper. It would be as tiring and exhausting as it sounds. But thanks to the computers, we don't have to do it. All we've got to do is enter a search keyword into the Google search bar and get access to an unlimited number of resources. This is just one of the many ways computers have made our lives easier. Whether it's the students or working professionals, everyone's equally grateful for computers.

However, not everything that shines is all gold. Computers are definitely a game-changer for everyone, but that doesn't mean there aren't any repercussions of using the computer too much. Excessive usage of computers is known to be linked to numerous health conditions and complications that weren't so common when computers hadn't become common.

This blog post sheds light on the other side of the coin, not to scare you but to make you aware of the risks you're at and to help you safeguard your health and well-being. No, you don't have to stop using the computer and return to your old ways. You can continue to use the computer and still be safe, healthy, and fit!

How Does Computer Usage Affect Health?

Excessive computer usage can put you at risk of different health conditions. If you don't take the right steps to mitigate these risks, you might become unfit and unable to work at all. Now, how can using a computer make you so unwell that you can't work? Here's how:

Posture- Related Problems

Not many people are mindful about maintaining a healthy posture. You're most likely sitting on a chair when you're using a computer. Now that we also have laptops, people can work while lying down comfortably on their beds or couch. And the chances that you're sitting in the correct posture are very slim.

Excessive usage of a computer, that too, being seated in an incorrect posture, puts you at the risk of posture-related health problems like chronic back pain, and pain in the shoulders and neck, and if not addressed, it can also lead to musculoskeletal disorders.

Sitting doesn't require your muscles to put in any effort but sitting causes physical fatigue, which is why you feel so tired after sitting in front of your computer for too long.

Sitting in an incorrect posture for long hours also affects the blood circulation to the muscles, tendons and bones, which worsens the stiffness, pain, and fatigue. If you don't correct your posture or limit your time sitting to use the computer, you can end up with lifelong physical disabilities.

Today, laptops are more common than computers. Laptops were designed to enable you to work where you didn't have access to a computer, but today, people use their laptops only. In fact, the majority of people don't even own a desktop computer today. This puts the users at an even greater risk of developing posture-related health complications.

The screen and keyboard of a laptop are too close to each other. If you arrange the laptop such that the screen is at eye level, you'll have to raise your shoulders and arms too high to reach the keyboard. If you position the laptop to use the keyboard comfortably, your screen will be too and you'll have to bend your neck forward. In both cases, your posture is incorrect, and you're at a massive risk of developing posture-related injuries.

Overuse Injury

Another major risk of excessive computer usage is an overuse injury, a condition of the overuse of wrists, hands, and elbows in computer users. This condition is characterized by stiffness and swelling in the wrist and finger joints, numbness and weakness that can impair your ability to use the computer.

Eye Strain

Eye strain is one of the most prominent ways excessive computer usage affects your health. Sitting in front of the computer means staring into the screen for several hours during the day. Looking into the illuminated screen non-stop can lead to eye fatigue which can result in headaches, migraines, and even weakening of the eyesight.

How to Ensure Your Health and Well-Being While Using a Computer

Most jobs today involve the use of a computer, so reducing the usage of computers is out of the question. Deprioritizing your health isn't an option either. So, how can you ensure your health isn't affected due to excessive computer usage? Safeguarding your health and well-being with excessive computer usage is very much possible. You have to take the right precautionary measures.

Some of the most promising ways of safeguarding your health and well-being are listed below:

Use Ergonomic Desk

One of the reasons why excessive usage of computers isn't good for you is the fact that you're sitting for long hours at a stretch and that too, in an incorrect posture. If you can correct your posture and maintain it that way, you can minimize the risk of developing posture-related health problems due to excessive computer usage.

One way of doing it is using ergonomic furniture like an ergonomic desk. Let's look in detail at how an ergonomic desk can help you correct your posture and minimize the risk of posture-related problems.

An ergonomic desk is equipped with a height adjustability system that allows the users to change the height to ensure that their computer is placed at just the right height for them. If the height of the desk is too low, the user will have to bend their head and neck down to see the computer screen. If the computer is positioned too high, the user will have to raise their head. Both of these postures can cause neck strain and pain in the shoulders and neck. However, this problem is addressed with an ergonomic desk, and you're good to go!

Replace Your Chair with an Ergonomic One

Excessive computer usage means long hours of sitting, making choosing the right chair critically important. If you use a regular chair, you'll soon start to experience discomfort and pain, especially in your back, neck and shoulders, because of inadequate support to the body and excessive strain due to prolonged sitting.

To minimize the strain on your body, you can replace your chair with an ergonomic chair. You can adjust the height of an ergonomic chair to ensure your feet are placed flat on the floor. You can also adjust the seat depth and the incline of the backrest.

In short, an ergonomic chair ensures that you're seated in the correct posture and aren't at risk of any musculoskeletal disorders or other posture-related injuries.

Install an Adjustable Monitor Mount

Another way you can minimize the risk of posture-related health conditions like neck and shoulder stiffness and pain and eye strain is by installing an adjustable monitor mount such as Dual Monitor Mount F7D/F8LD. With this piece of equipment, you can adjust the height and angle of your monitor to ensure its at the right height to allow you to use your computer in a neutral posture and at the right distance and angle from the eyes to keep eye strain at a minimum.

Install a Detachable Keyboard Tray

As we explained earlier, one of the ways excessive computer usage puts you at risk of posture-related health conditions is the fact that your arms and hands aren't positioned right. You can address this problem by installing a detachable keyboard tray that can be lowered or raised to ensure the keyboard is placed at the perfect height so that you don't have to keep your arms at awkward angles to use the keyboard.

Install Anti-Glare Screen on Your Computer

Installing an anti-glare screen on your computer monitor reduces the glare significantly, reducing eye strain due to excessive computer usage. Even if you're using a computer for several hours at a stretch, you can rest assured that your eyes are well protected.

Use Ergonomic Keyboard and Mouse

Excessive computer usage puts you at risk of overuse injury, as we've explained earlier. However, replacing your keyboard and mouse with ergonomic options can reduce the risk of overuse injury. The keypad and buttons of the ergonomic keyboard and mouse are very soft. You don't have to press them too hard, which might put a strain on the joints of your fingers and wrists.

Final Word

Everything comes with its own pros and cons, and computers are no exception, but the good news is that you can find a way around most of the cons. All you've got to do is identify all the possible risks of excessive computer usage and address each of them at the right time before you fall prey to the cons.

The health risks of computers are real, and turning a blind eye to them won't make them go away. It'll only put your health and well-being at a greater risk.

The sooner you take the necessary steps, the better it's for you in the long run.