Friday, May 4, 2012

Physical Care While Computing

In today's interconnected world we humans work with tekkie gadgets for hours and hours upon end each day. And though technology has made for some great advances in terms of ease of communication it can still hurt the body quite a bit to be at a computer all day. And sadly, the strain on your body is a slowly developing thing that will most likely only rear its ugly head once you're in some deep trouble. To help prevent computer-usage injuries don't forget to occasionally give yourself a physical checklist.
Eye strain
If you find yourself getting numerous tension headaches or discover you're squinting at the screen on a regular basis then you may be experiencing eye strain. To help avoid such a thing be sure to take needed breaks from long stints at the computer. If you're deep in the trenches of a deadline and can't afford to step away as often as you need then at bare minimum take moments to look away from the screen, either by gazing out a window, letting your eyes light on a poster or object, anything that let's your eyes focus on something new.
Also be aware of the level of lighting, both on the screen and in the room where you're sitting. Your comfort level may not match that of your co-workers, so that makes things challenging, but if at home and in control of your surrounding then continue to adjust levels until you find you can gaze at the screen with ease.
Carpal Tunnel
With symptoms including numb or tingling fingers and shooting pain radiating up from the wrist through the arm, this condition has received more and more notice as computer usage increases. Sadly, once you start to feel the effects you're already in for an extensive amount of recovery time in order to find relief. To help prevent such strain always maintain healthy typing and sitting practices. If you notice trouble be sure to see your physician immediately.
Neck and Back Problems
Just like with Carpal Tunnel, your office setup can have a seriously negative impact on your neck and back as well.
Office supplies and furniture are big business, but no one setup works for all. Think about it, if you're 5'2 and your co-worker is 6'4 it would not behoove either of you to share a workspace. Many chairs and desks are thankfully adjustable but it still takes work to find just the right arrangement. The best bet is to listen to your body and to make sure that you aren't forcing your head to look to far down or two for up for any long length of time. Also be sure to pay attention to how your shoulders feel. Are your arms raised too high as you type for hours on end? Not sure? Don't worry, your body will tell you soon enough. Then it's up to you to make the necessary changes.
Technology is amazing. It's changed our world in ways that most could never have predicted – and it continues to do so. But it's not without cost. We've got the means to do great things with technology, but we need to learn to use it as safely and comfortably as possibly.