5 Reasons Working With Computers Is Bad For You & How to Stay Healthy

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computers bad for healthWorking on the computer may sound like the most relaxed job in the world, but it’s quite the contrary. It’s very tough on your body, which is not used to this modern type of work.

Sitting has long been known to cause back pain and negatively influence circulation, which can promote cardiovascular disease. Extensive use of the keyboard and mouse can lead to stiffening of the muscles in your hands, arms, and neck, as well as inflammation and injuries. Staring at a bright screen for too long can cause dry eyes and headaches. Finally, computer work can be stressful, isolating, and lead to depression and anxiety. In other words, working on the computer is as unhealthy a job as you can imagine.

Let me show you what exactly the culprits are and how you can avoid and fix them.

Sitting Kills You

Whether you do in front of the computer, the TV, or while reading a book, sitting for long stretches of time is a very serious health risk! Sitting affects your blood circulation, your back experiences a steady stress, you are more likely to drink and eat stuff that isn’t good for you, and you burn very little calories, making it more likely that you overeat. As a result, sitting contributes to a host of conditions, most notably gaining weight, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and consequently a shortened life span.

Remedies

Sitting is perfectly good and normal. It’s just when you do it excessively that it turns into a major health risk. So try to loosen it up and play with alternatives. Here is a list of things you should do:

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computers bad for health

Bad Posture Causes Pain

Bad posture is not necessarily a consequence of sitting. You can develop bad posture from anything you do habitually, whether it’s sitting, standing, or walking. Your daily activities have an impact on your body and shape your muscles; they either tighten or become weak. The typical consequences associated with bad posture while working on the computer are pain in the back, shoulder, and neck, often resulting in tension headaches.

Remedies

  • Do everything recommended above to combat sitting-related health risks, especially taking frequent breaks and stretching.
  • Self-massage your back and neck.
  • Set up your monitor ergonomically; the top edge should be at eye level, the display should be at arms length from your face and angled slightly backward.
  • Get an ergonomic office chair or maybe an exercise ball to support and strengthen your lower back.
  • Work on a healthy sitting posture; apparently leaning back is actually best for your back.

computer bad for your health

Repetitive Movements Cause Injuries

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is caused by continual physical movements that damage tendons, nerves, muscles, and other soft body tissues. This is actually a severe form of bad posture that most frequently affects the hands and leads to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Remedies

  • As above, take frequent breaks and stretch.
  • Adjust your posture to reduce strain on your wrists.
  • Consciously keep your hands and arms relaxed.
  • Use very little force when you use the mouse or keyboard.
  • Make sure your hands are warm.

Staring At The Screen Causes Eye Strain

Staring at a bright screen for hours can lead to eye fatigue or eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, burning, itching or tearing eyes, and temporary vision disorders. Fortunately, eye strain rarely results in a permanent condition and symptoms can be prevented or cured rather easily.

Remedies

computers bad for health

Emotional Pressure & Isolation Cause Anxiety & Depression

Computers are very efficient tools in that they help us with getting more work done in less time. At the same time, you spend less face-to-face time with your colleagues, family, or friends. This can lead to isolation, anxiety, and depression, i.e. both physical and mental health issues. The symptoms are manifold and can include tense muscles, back pain, headaches, poor sleep (insomnia), increased or flat breathing, quickened pulse, and generally signs of stress, depression, or anxiety.

Remedies

  • Breathe consciously.
  • In addition to stretching, go for a brisk walk or run up and down the stairs to work off stress levels.
  • During your frequent breaks, seek out social interactions.
  • Have meals with colleagues or friends.
  • Don’t forget to drink lots of water.
  • Plan for social activities after work.
  • Meditate before or after work.
  • Exercise before or after work.

Conclusion

Are computers bad for health? Too much of anything is bad for you. Working with a computer for hours on end day in day out is very straining for your body and can cause very serious health issues. Fortunately, you can avoid pain and misery with only a few simple routines. The key changes are to take frequent short breaks, get up to walk and stretch at least once an hour, actively relax, interact with other people, and especially if you have a lot of stress, remember that you must exercise to stay healthy.

How do you stay healthy while spending hours a day on the computer?

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Comments (34)
  • Robert

    Thanks for the article!

  • Sachin G

    The activities are really relieving, thanks Tina

  • Justin Pot

    Wanted to say I loved this piece, Tina. Great reminder for me to get up every half hour or so and walk around.

    • Tina Sieber

      Try to jump around the apartment. I read somewhere it also lifts the mood. And how could acting like a 3 year old not make you happier. ;)

  • K.Vee.Shanker.

    Everyone believes that others’ life is easy and comfortable! Next to Acting in Films and Modelling, IT field is supposed to be glamorous! No one as usual, including the computer workers, realise the physical hazards of sitting with a computer all the time. Tina has summed up it all and that should surprise even the diehard nerds.

    Thanks for your unusual observation Tina!

  • Stephanie S

    Yep, as much as we love them, we have to learn moderation. I have been keyboarding most of my adult life: first the typewriter, then the word processor and finally the computer. I am a victim of repetitive wrist actions and about 8 years ago, found out I had carpal tunnel syndrome and worse, I have muscle atrophy in both hands. I had surgery on my left wrist and, frankly, couldn’t tell a bit of difference. I had to quit working (I was a legal secretary and did a LOT of typing). I was ready to quit but did some part-time stuff at home. I finally got to the point of not being able to do that coupled with chronic back pain it just wasn’t worth the hurt. :) So mind this post, you younger folks – it really does mean a difference not only physically but emotionally.

    • Tina Sieber

      Thanks for sharing your story, Stephanie. I hope you are doing OK!

      You easily forget what you’re doing to your body when you get used to daily routines. So even though I wrote this article, your comment was another reminder to be a little more careful. Thank you! :)

    • Stephanie S

      Thanks, Tina, for your kind concern. Yes, I am okay. I have learned to pace myself, finally! You know when you are in the middle of an article or project? I used to push it just too far and I didn’t do myself any favors. Even when you don’t want to get up, DO IT ANYWAY! :)

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.