Computers are now highly involved in our lives from aviation, medicine, finance, agriculture, defense, the list is endless. We are enjoying the convenience it affords us but at what cost really?
Our decisions are now smarter and precise but some of the impact particularly on our health is the focus of this piece. Some aspects of our health affected by computers include:
o Blood Circulation
o Eye Sight
Extensive computer usage encourages a sedentary lifestyle and that in turn affects the circulation of blood in the body. The flow rate of blood in our body is reduced when we sit for a long period; the cut-off of blood supply to the entire body or a part of it exposes one to the risk of developing headaches, migraine, fatigue – not forgetting the risk of organ(s) damage when it’s prolonged.
Digestion (metabolism) is slowed down once the flow rate of blood drops hence increased weight gain which exposes one to other aliments like High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, High Cholesterol just to mention a few. Our diet is also affected by extended computer usage – Most techies (Software Developers, Graphics Designers, Network Engineers) consume a lot of fuzzy drinks which their sedentary life-style doesn’t allow them burn off, hence developing some of the aliments mentioned earlier.
The Information-Age is synonymous to “Multi-Tasking” and Productivity is affected when we multitask as shown by research. You end up doing so much but have “Little or No Result” for it. Several addictions and risky behaviors are connected to the use of computers including Excessive Chatting/Texting and Social Media, Excessive Internet Usage, Pornography, Excessive Shopping, Excessive Gaming.
and others. Computer users do not suffer the brunt of such addictions alone as they expose others to the associated risks of the said addiction(s). Imagine chatting/texting while driving, you are not the only one exposed to the risk of an accident, other road users are too.
Majority of our workstations at home and at work are not ergonomic and this leads to people taking bad postures that leads to Neck, Back and Shoulder Pains, Headache/Migraine and these would affect productivity on the long run. The high stress level associated with sleep deprivation is on the increase as more time is spent in front of computer screens and it affects our mental stability.
Computer usage is also affecting our eyes causing blurred vision, fatigue, light sensitivity, headache and more – a lot of people are losing their sight through this. It’s interesting that irrespective of the enormous benefits and disadvantages of computer usage, its advantages still surpasses its demerits.
What to do
Here are some of the things to be done to mitigate a lot of the aliments earlier mentioned:
Try to take breaks when in front of your computer during which you stretch
Adjust the top of your screen to eye level
Reduce exposure to loud music
Avoid the use of your phones when driving
Hydrate regularly when in front of your computer
Getting Ergonomic Workstations