It has the great quality of helping us work, to improve our minds and to have better fun, but it also has the big disadvantage of causing a lot of physical and psychical problems.
I don’t know if you have the noon headaches, the numbness in the fingers in the evening and the rebel insomnia that troubles my night starts sometimes. But if you are a part of the 80% who are unconscious (to be read persons who don’t know or who know but don’t want to admit it) who ignore every warning about the exaggerated consumption of virtual information, you would better read the following lines.
Your head spins, your eyes burn and you have started to see in a mist…
Headaches are not an unusual thing for those who use the computer excessively. If you have such problems and they disappear miraculously when you go to the mountains (without your laptop), it means there is a connection between them and the work medium. Generally, these headaches are associated with eye problems, caused by monitors and by looking too much at the pixels that create the image on the screen.
Your eyes, which have been created to focus infinitely, are now forced to focus and refocus to surprise a fix image. This activity doesn’t cause permanent and irrecoverable lesions, but it gets you pain. The American association Optometrical accomplished a study at which took part 32000 ophthalmologists and opticians from all over the world and which had a surprising but expected conclusion: the use of the computer is not natural for human eyes, and approximately 75% of the persons who work daily at the computer have (smaller or bigger) problems with their eyes.
It all starts with CVS (the computer view sight). This produces the dryness and the reddening of the eyes, cephalgya and focusing difficulties. The ocular tiredness manifests through pain in the eyes and especially through the false decrease of the distant sight. When you need glasses, the eyes reddening signals you this thing. It is a chronicle conjunctivitis produced by the refraction vices (myopia, astigmatism, and hipermethrophy).
How do you solve the problem?
First of all, try to prevent it. If we are less dizzied by the light screens it is better. There are three essential aspects: ambient light, the computer settings and your position.
- The light has to be at about half of the intensity of its normal. Eliminate the surplus of light with the help of curtains and with … turning some light bulbs off. And avoid visual contact with bright surfaces.
- Adjust the degree of screen illumination with the help of the buttons from the monitor. Fix the contrast, the colors and, if you write/read a text the size of the letters. Keep your monitor clean and use a screen and/ or anti-reflex lens.
- Make sure that you sit in a comfortable position (see the part about muscular pain). As for the "famous" talk about the distance to the screen, I say that a distance equal to an arm and a half (1.5 x the distance shoulder-the top of the fingers) is a reasonable one. One more thing: if you haven’t discovered the benefices of the scanner and of the OCR’s and you want to copy a printed sheet of paper in electronic format, make sure that the sheet of paper and the screen of the computer are at equal distances and at the same plan.
Most headaches will pass simply or with the help of known pills. But be careful not to exaggerate with these painkillers. If the pains persist, go to an eye control. (In fact it would be good to go to a check out annually, especially if you have activities that solicit your eyes. No, watching the girls doesn’t count).
At every 15-20 minutes put your eyes on a far away object (preferably the nice colleague from across your office). In this way you wet your eyes and you prevent their dryness and their irritation.
Your hands tremble nervously, without being excited…
No, you haven’t fallen in love. Instead, it is possible you are the victim of a cumulative traumatic syndrome (CDT), caused by the rigid position of the arms near the body during the use of the keyboards and the mouse.
The most known form of CDT is the carpian tunnel syndrome (an anatomic formation at the level of the fist, through which the median muscle passes). The high position of the keyboards, the furious hit of the keys and benumb with the hand on the mouse are all premises of this syndrome.
"If it is not treated, the continuous degradation of the function of the median nerve function may lead to a point with no return, because the affection becomes permanent and irreversible. The result may be an accentuated weakness of the hand, until a moment when the objects cannot be firmly gripped, and the activities which require special skills become impossible", explains Dr. Damian.
How do you solve the problem?
In this case too, there are 4 things that require your whole attention.
- Yes, the keyboard is your main “enemy”. Technically speaking, get a wireless one – I have regained my freedom after I bought one (after it took me more than an hour to make I work, of course). But this shouldn’t be you biggest worry. The ideal keyboard is one which is inclined on the ascendant direction of your fingers or which is on a stand situated below the line made by the elbows. The last roar in the area of fingers relaxation is the broken keyboard, on which the well-known successions of letters and signs are arranged into a turned V.
- After you have bought it, learn to use it properly. A lot of persons twist their hands because of the keys combinations (like Ctrl+Alt+S, which I use to write s). Try, as much as you can, to respect the principle “each hand types the letters from its area”. (That is why there are two Shift keys!).
- This gets us to the mouse, that instrument without which the internet and the games with the repetitive characteristic (other notorious enemies of your wrists) would seem things full of animosity. There are in so many shapes and colors, like in so many varieties, from the classical one to the laptop touchpad or the trackball. The most important thing is to keep it close to you and the keyboard, in order not to lean too much for it and not to make too many direction changes in one work session. Buy a mouse your size: don’t get one you can’t get a grip on with your hand just because it is fashionable, and for God’s sake, use the CD he is delivered with. A recent study has proven that most internet users ignore the benefices brought by the multitude of mouse settings.
- If the choice of the desk is up to you, choose one with round edges rather than sharp ones, because your wrists cannot handle an extra stress. A desk with a keyboard support would be ideal, but I haven’t seen many at our firms.
If you want to be a true master in the dissimulation in CDT syndromes, use the keyboards more than the mouse and pretend you are interpreting a piano score, letting only your fingers to fly freely.
Here is a small relaxing exercise, which can be performed anywhere. Lift an arm to the level of the shoulder and lean it with the opposite palm. Try to pull it gently from this squeeze, through stretching movements towards the wrist. Repeat with the other arm.