The widespread use of technology has led to some important user health concerns. Some of the more common physical health risks are repetitive strain injuries, computer vision syndrome, and muscular pain. These injuries are on the rise of technology. A repetitive strain injury (RSI) is an injury or disorder of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Technology-related RSIs include tendonitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon due to repeated motion or stress on that tendon. CTS is inflammation of the nerve that connects the forearm to the palm. Repeated or forceful bending of the wrist can cause tendonitis or CTS of the wrist. Factors that cause these disorders include prolonged typing or mouse usage and continual shifting between a mouse and keyboard (Jones 45-48).
If untreated, these disorders can lead to permanent physical damage. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) affects eyesight. Symptoms of CVS are sore, tired, burning, itching, or dry eyes; blurred or double vision; distance blurred vision after prolonged staring at a display device; headache or sore neck; difficulty shifting focus between a display device and documents; difficulty focusing on a screen image; color fringes or afterimages when looking away from a display device; and increased sensitivity to light. Eyestrain associated with CVS is not thought to have long-term consequences (Anderson and Dean). People who spend their workday using the computer sometimes complain of lower back pain, muscle fatigue, and emotional fatigue. Lower back pain sometimes is caused from poor posture.
It is advisable to sit properly in a chair while working and take periodic breaks. Users also should be sure their workplace is designed ergonomically. Ergonomic studies have shown that using the correct type and configuration of chair, keyboard, display device, and work surface helps users work comfortably and efficiently and helps protect their health (Sanchez). Many physical health risks are associated with using technology. These risks include repetitive strain injuries, computer vision syndrome, and muscular pain. Users should take as many preventive measures as possible to avoid these risks.
Anderson, Cricket Finley and Stacy Anne Dean. “Computer Pains.” The Medical Update