Ten health problems caused by using a computer and resolution
If you spend more than 6 hours a day sitting in front of a computer,
whether for work or pleasure, it is high time to educate yourself
about relevant health problems and solutions to adopt.
Regular use of a computer could be the source of significant Depression
for health due to:
- Prolonged sitting that causes tension in muscles, nerves, and blood vessels;
- Poor posture causes bone and organ movement and poor blood circulation;
- Inappropriate working conditions and environment, including
a poorly adjusted computer/chair/table position, a glittering screen,
and unhealthy eating habits affecting our metabolic reactions and related
- Lack of human interaction in the face of cyber
addiction, Depression, and psychosomatic reactions.
Fortunately, preventive measures, as well as initial treatment of
all health problems caused by the use of a computer,
could be taken daily, including easy-to-do desktop exercises.
Health problems caused by computer use
A sedentary lifestyle spent in front of a computer screen
causes many health problems. The good news is that anyone can take
preventive measures to get rid of symptoms
and avoid illnesses caused by prolonged sitting and glare from the
Let’s start by learning all the risks:
1. Neck, shoulder, and back pain
These are common problems due to sedentary lifestyles.
If investigating the root causes of neck, shoulder, and back
pain (sometimes even leg pain), white collars, low muscle tone
sandwiched nerves, and poor blood circulation are the most common.
For example, weak muscles in the spine can cause spinal movements,
which in turn can contract nerves or blood vessels,
causing terrible back pain and other health problems.
2. Computer vision syndrome
CVS or Digital Eye Strain is not a specific eye problem.
This health problem encompasses a range of eye fatigue
and pain problems experienced by computer users,
such as double vision, irritated, red, wet, or dry eyes.
The symptoms mentioned may be caused by poor lighting,
a dazzling digital screen, inappropriate vision distances,
poor sitting posture, uncorrected vision problems,
or a combination of factors (American Optometric Association [AOA].)
3. Carpal tunnel syndrome
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, USA, describes carpal tunnel syndrome as occurring
when the median nerve from the forearm to the palm is squeezed or compressed at the wrist. (NINDS, 2016). (NINDS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information Page. Namely, a progressive painful state caused by compression of a key nerve in a wrist is another health problem caused by the prolonged use of a computer,
as data entry personnel are at significant risk of acquiring it.
4. Repetitive strain injuries
RSI is a general term used to describe pain in muscles, nerves, and tendons caused by repetitive movements and overuse. The condition mainly affects upper body parts: forearms
elbows, wrists, hands, neck, and shoulders (National Health Service [NHS], 2016
5. Metabolic disorders
Dr. Mercola, an osteopathic physician and bestselling author of weight gain and associated biochemical changes, such as hormone alterations, Inflammation, leptin dysregulation,
and metabolic dysfunction, are all cancer risk factors (Mercola, 2015). The following logical chain could explain a simple example of a relevant metabolic disorder:
A prolonged sitting position causes soft abdominal muscles, which causes various stomach problems that trigger obesity, prevent proper breathing, and other issues.
6. Heart Disease
The sedentary lifestyle, with its lack of physical activity, depresses our muscles. Weak muscles burn less fat. Interestingly, blood flows more slowly, allowing fatty acids to clog heart vessels easily. When the need for our bodies
Blood-borne oxygen is not satisfied, apart from minor problems (for example, occasional arrhythmias),
fatal consequences can occur (heart attack and stroke).
7. Loss of cerebral blood flow
Our brain metabolism could malfunction due to a sedentary lifestyle. For example, the brain of a healthy individual receives 15% of cardiac blood output and uses 20% of total body oxygen and 25% of total body glucose (Zauner and Muizelaar, 1997). As a result, the loss of blood pressure in the cerebral circulation, possibly triggered by heart disease or other reasons for poor blood circulation, leads to neurotransmitter dysfunction,
the chemicals in the brain that communicate information through our brain and body. This imbalance can also cause headaches, affect sleep and mood, and cause unwanted health problems.
8. Degeneration of the legs
The legs may also suffer from prolonged sitting. Varicose veins and blood clots can be caused by poor blood circulation in the legs. Also, weak bones and even hip problems can result from poor movement and sedentary habits. All these affect our ability to maintain and can often lead to fractures in the event of a fall.
9. Cyber Dependency
This is a psychological disorder related to dependence on computer use. Our cognitive capacities decrease if each activity is carried out via the Internet: shopping, banking, socialization, etc., or even dangerous for the society in which they interact.
Mental stress and constant work overload lead to Depression among in-office staff.
When the deadline for a project is near,
it becomes challenging to take a break from the computer work routine,
which involves mental stress. If no preventive measures are taken to improve a person’s state of mind, increasing Depression can also cause physical damage.
Ways to relieve symptoms and prevent disease
Starting to look after yourself might happen at any time! Whether you are an office worker or use your PC daily for education or pleasure for an extended period,
the following ways to prevent computer problems can be constructive:
1. Minimization of fatigue and pain in the back, neck, and shoulders
To cut pain and tension in the back, neck, and
shoulders after prolonged sitting, the following measures are required:
Repeated physical activities,
Properly adjusted work environment,
Good sitting posture
UCLA Spine Center stresses that “No matter how far you are at your desk,
prolonged static posture is not good for your back. Instead, remember to stand, stretch and walk for at least a minute or two every half hour…” ( Ergonomics for prolonged sitting, n.d.).
2. Overcoming Computer Vision Syndrome
It is not that difficult to organize appropriate working conditions to prevent CVS. According to the American Optometric Association already mentioned, the steps to be taken are:
Distribute light with a desk lamp;
Apply a glare filter to the check.
Position your check appropriately – slightly below eye level, about 20 to 28 inches from the face.
Don’t strain your eyes to see the screen.
Look away from the screen every 20 minutes (American Optometric Association [AOA], n.d.).
3. Prevent / Decrease carpal tunnel syndrome
According to the American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Initial CSC treatment involves resting the affected hand and wrist (Carpal Tunnel Information Page from NINDS, 2016. Repeated but light exercises can help as preventive measures. For example, a compressed key nerve in your wrist
could be prevented by circular wrist movements during a work day. According to the American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Initial CSC treatment involves resting
the affected hand and wrist (Carpal Tunnel Information Page from NINDS, 2016. Repeated but light exercises can help as preventive measures. For example, a compressed key nerve in your wrist
could be prevented by circular wrist movements during a work day.
4. Reduce repetitive strain injuries
It is a fact that inappropriate posture or prolonged activities in
an uncomfortable position increases the risk of contracting muscle or nerve tension. The first step in preventing strain injuries (which can be pre-diagnosed based on repetitive pain in the muscles or tendons) is to identify and change the task or activity that causes the symptoms (National Health Service [NHS], 2016). Activity breaks of the same type also help (for example, walking to your colleague’s office instead of sending a message) and improve sitting posture.
5. Improve metabolism
Our metabolic capacity is the basis of digestion, immunity, and physical strength. To improve the three main objectives of metabolism – converting food into energy to perform
cellular processes, conversion of food into building materials for proteins/lipids/nucleic acids, and removal of intracellular waste – physicians are advised to follow five rules when working in the office:
Perform regular, easy physical activities,
Eat healthy foods regularly,
Drink water or tea regularly,
Breathe the fresh air,
Work in a comfortable environment, including good postural installations
6. Cardiac stress avoidance
It has been estimated that 80% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented through lifestyle changes and education,
as highlighted by the American Heart Association (Heart Disease Statistics at a Glance, n.d.). Cardiovascular therapy includes a healthy and regular diet, balanced physical activity, a regular oxygen supply,
tobacco avoidance, extreme heat and cold temperatures, limited alcohol use, and mental health maintenance. Considering office workers, occasional meditation, frequent tea breaks combined with stairs instead of
an elevator/ fruit instead of choosing cigarettes could be an appropriate therapy.
7. Maintenance of normal blood flow to the brain
Our brain controls all our body’s physical, chemical, and mental functions. So, any risk of brain metabolism must be minimized in advance. As cited by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the importance of self-regulation of cerebral blood flow through the constant blood supply
and homeostasis of water (Cipolla, 2009). Supporting these processes requires maintaining blood pressure and
strengthening blood vessels through balanced physical activity, healthy eating, and fresh air oxygenation.
8. Leg Energy Generation
In order not to let the muscles of our legs degenerate, regular physical activity must be practiced every day. In one of
the articles of the Forbes newspaper, it is mentioned that eight hours spent sitting in an office plus sedentary
evening hobbies like watching TV – are a recipe for ruin. A survey conducted by the National Centre for Disease Prevention Chronic and Health Promotion indicates that 50% of adults in the United States do not practice the suggested 30 minutes, five days a week, moderate physical strenuous activity
for 20 minutes, three times a week. (How much physical activity do adults need, ).
9. Gaining Cyber Dependency
The first step to overcoming cyber addiction is becoming aware
of the time spent on distracting computer activities such
as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Then, when data are received, some means of overcoming dependence should be applied. Among other things, a simple human face-to-face interaction heals
the case, as well as outdoor walks and reading paper publications.
10. Overcoming Depression
Psychologists suggest that a state of bad mood could affect the physical functions of the body,
depressed people suffer from loss of appetite or overeating,
problems with concentration or memory, insomnia or excessive sleep,
fatigue, digestive problems, reduced energy levels, and many others.
To prevent physical and mental stress, mental therapy, meditation,
and spiritual exercises could be practiced.
A one-on-one approach is recommended here: listen to your favorite music,
watch or read clever tricks,
or even perform yoga exercises as a short break in your work routine!
Examples of Easy Remedies in the Office
Why do some people not even invest the smallest of effort in?
The prevention of computer use and health problems related to a sedentary lifestyle?
The answer is straightforward: we are human beings who are sometimes
lazy or even unconscious of regular exercise and
sometimes too stressed to care about ourselves.
Here are some examples of these simple exercises adapted to the office,
developed to :
Maintain and improve your health while working
With a computer:
1. Easy physical activities:
Example 1 – According to doctors, good posture heals 70% of
health problems caused by prolonged sitting.
The rule is “90-90-90 degrees of body posture sitting in front of a computer.”
It is the key to a healthy body!
Example 2 – To treat back problems: sit straight,
grab your left knee, lift your left leg from the ground,
lean forward (bend your back), and bring your nose to the knee.
Repeat 3-5 times. Repeat with the right leg.
2. Minimizing mental stress:
Example 1 – Relaxing (or meditating) only three times a day,
five minutes each time, will significantly harmonize your inner state.
All you need to do is sit back and relax and observe the soothing
images of nature.
Example 2 – Release stress and generate energy with a fast sitting dance when no one
is looking while having a few minutes of break to listen to your favorite music!
3. Natural tips for reducing computer damage:
Example 1 – When you sit in front of a computer for a long time,
the muscles burn less fat, and the blood circulates
slowly, making it easier for fatty acids to clog the heart.
Allow fresh air into the room to provide oxygen to your body.
Example 2 – Decreased concentration and concentration when
a short walk processes the hourly computer work to your canteen
for a cup of green tea or an apple.
If one does not care about preventing sedentary life problems
OR if one forgets to perform regular physical or
mental exercises to overcome health problems,
it can affect the quality of life. This may include the health problems listed,
the resulting relationship problems,
and poor job performance (decrease in productivity and increase in occupational
errors caused by physical fatigue and health problems).
That’s why, to live a whole life, don’t forget to take care of yourself!
Mercola, J. (2015). Here’s What Sitting Too Long Does to Your Body.
Zauner, A., & Muizelaar J.P. (1997). Brain Metabolism and Cerebral Blood Flow.
In Chapman & Hall
American Heart Association. (n.d.). Heart Disease Statistics at a Glance.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2016).
NINDS Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Information Page.
Cipolla, M.J. (2009). The Cerebral Circulation. In Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences (Ed.).
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). How much physical activity do adults need?
National Health Service. (2016). Repetitive strain injury.
UCLA Spine Center. (n.d.). Ergonomics for Prolonged Sitting.
American Optometric Association. (n.d.). Computer Vision Syndrome.