Is Your Computer Killing You?

If you spend as much time online as the WhoIsHostingthis.com reviews team, you might well have asked yourself the question: is my computer killing me? This infographic compares some of the biggest threats to your health for hardcore web geeks…

Is Your Computer Killing You?

(plus 22 Easy Tips to Stop it Today)

How your computer use could harm your health daily:

Monday: Chronic Pain from Poor Ergonomics

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causes the most missed work of all work-related injuries – 1/2 of all cases result in 31 sick days or more (National Center for Health Statistics).
  • Repetitive strain injuries cost Worker’s Compensation more than $20 billion a year (U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)).
  • Almost 2/3 of all work Injuries were caused by repeated trauma to the wrist elbow or shoulder (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Symptoms:

  • Burning pain in shoulders, elbows and wrists from using the mouse and keyboard.
  • Chronic Headache from poor Screen position and posture.
  • Back pain caused by poor posture, incorrectly sized chair, or poorly positioned monitors.

Save Yourself:

The OSHA website has resources for assessing and changing your workstation to make it more ergonomic. They recommend:

  • Using a wrist rest
  • Use a chair that conforms to the natural curvature of your spine and provides lumbar support.
  • Make sure there is enough room under your desk for you to sit comfortably and move around.

Useful Apps: Posture Screen, Posture Corrector

Tuesday: Multi-Tasking Mush Brain

  • According to Susan Adele Greenfield, Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology at Oxford, the Internet, and social media In particular, may be the reason for the surging numbers of ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder) cases.
  • Greenfield says technology makes the brain crave instant gratification.
  • A social psychologist at Stanford reports studies show too much Internet multi-tasking leads to forgetting how to read human emotion.
  • Researcher David Levy calls the effects of electronic multi-tasking “popcorn brain” describing a reliance on constant stimulation making us unfit for real life.

Save Yourself:

  • Freedom is an application that disables networking from your computer for up to eight hours. There is other internet restricting software available.

Wednesday: Blue Light Insomnia

  • According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), blue computer screens at night suppress melatonin – the hormone that regulates sleep. Melatonin suppression has been linked to increased risk for diseases.
  • Self-luminous backlit displays make it more difficult to fall asleep, according to researchers at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Save Yourself:

  • f.lux is an application that changes the color of your screen throughout the day. Blue during daylight hours, then warm red for the evening. In the morning, it goes back to blue.
  • Turn off all your lights in the evening.

Thursday: Obesity

  • According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), more than one-third of U S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
  • The World Health Organization named gaming as the single largest cause of childhood obesity.

Obesity-Related Conditions:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer

Save Yourself – Helpful Apps:

  • My Fitness Pal
  • Eat This, Not That
  • Lose It!

Friday: Computer Vision Syndrome

  • The American Optometric Association reports that 14% of patients present with eye or vision-related symptoms resulting from computer work.
  • Experts estimate S0-90% of computer users experience eye strain, headaches blurred vision, dry eyes and other visual symptoms related to sustained use of the computer.

Save Yourself:

A list compiled by the professionals at All About Vision suggests the following changes to protect your eyesight:

  • Use ambient background light half as bright as typical office light.
  • Position your monitor so windows are to the side.
  • Use floor lamps instead of overhead florescent lights.
  • Use an anti-glare screen.
  • Darken wall colors using a matte finish.
  • Get anti-reflective coating for your glasses.
  • LCD screens are easier on the eyes.
  • Stare at something in the distance every twenty minutes to reduce eye fatigue.

Saturday: Gaming Addiction

  • A study published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction concluded that self-diagnosed excessive gamers showed core components of addiction including mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, cravings and relapse.
  • A divorce online study showed 15% of divorces were caused by one partner’s online gaming addiction.
  • Parts of the brain activated during cravings of alcohol and drug addicts are also activated in gaming addicts seeing images of games, according to a study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

Symptoms:

  • Poor work/school performance
  • Social isolation
  • Spending 6-8 hours gaming non-stop
  • Making poop decisions in order to continue gaming, i.e. staying up too late gaming regularly leading to poor job/school performance the next day

Save Yourself

Experts agree that gaming addiction often needs to be treated as other addictions:

  • Seek a therapist specializing in cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Find a video game addiction treatment centre
  • Wilderness therapy involves complete removal from technology to rebuild.
  • Free self-help books are available for download

Sunday: Time to Turn it Off

Rest and get outside.

Sources

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