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computer health and safetyA computer is a deadly weapon. Certainly, a computer can kill you just as easily as a smoking habit, high cholesterol or reckless driving.

While few people will be so careless as to attempt using a computer while taking a bath, poor online & offline habits can certainly shave years off of one’s life.

By simply modifying your own behavior, you can use your computer in ways that will keep you in good health rather than putting you in an early grave.

Stress Kills


If you’re a ball of anger, your online behavior will soon resemble your offline behavior.  Thus, if you’re a jerk to your coworkers, you are bound to act as a jerk in forums, too.

Furthermore, no matter how technologically-prepared you are, computer equipment is sure to malfunction as soon as you touch it.  Doubtlessly, you will want to smack your computer and perhaps even get fired from your job for doing so.

However, you should learn to handle your stress in productive ways instead of letting it get the best of you.  Avoid visiting sites that are sure to make your blood pressure rise, routinely backup important documents, and train yourself on how to deal with minor glitches.

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Don’t Slouch

Slouching is easy to do when surfing the internet.  Nevertheless, there’s no reason to break your back while online.

Just as your mother probably scolded you to do as a child, you should sit up straight while using a computer.

Even slight maladjustments in good posture can cause severe backache over the long haul.  You should be careful not to strain muscles in your neck, by correcting the bad habit of craning your neck to read fine print or check out content of interest to you while you’re working on your PC.

Consider typical scenarios:  if you’re using a handheld mouse,  you’re probably leaning at an angle in the first place in order to wiggle the little creature around a mousepad; if you’re using a chair with wheels, you may not remain fixed at a stationary spot as hours slowly pass; if you’re resting on a sofa, you’re likely to be tossing all of this useful advice out the window in exchange for the freedom to rest on soft pillows while still putting stress on your muscles.

Googling Toward Blindness

Staring at the sun is a foolish thing to do.  Staring at a bright computer screen for hours is only slightly less foolish.  While experts conclude that computers give off little if no harmful radiation, users frequently forget to use common sense when staring at their bright PC screens.

For example, eye strain is quickly caused if a user forgets to blink regularly while sitting in front of a computer.  Similarly, just because you want to use the computer for hours at a time doesn’t mean that your body is ready to let you.

Perhaps you’ve been up too late, or you’ve got a bad case of jet lag.  In both cases, your eyes may be taxed by trying to read through pages of search results, all buried beneath the glare of your computer screen.

Throw Your Hands in the Air

Why give yourself carpal tunnel when you can navigate the computer with your voice?

Although clicking a mouse hundreds of times per hour may not seem to pose a great health risk, doing so causes fatigue in small muscles or tendons in the hand. Furthermore, typing or texting can create undue stress that can easily be avoided if a user resorts to a little common sense.

By using free speech macros for Windows Vista, offered by Microsoft, you can feel free to throw your hands in the air & accomplish most of your work with voice prompts. You won’t need to give up using your mouse or keyboard, but you can save yourself a little energy by using speech to supplement your handiwork.

Set Yourself Free

Sometimes, you should remind yourself that you are not a slave who is bound with chains to your computer terminal.

  • Get up & take a walk.
  • Stretch at your desk periodically.
  • Pour yourself a glass of water.
  • Take a break to call a friend.

Simply enough, let your computer be of service to you rather than living simply to serve your computer.  Remember that the computer is a man-made invention that was designed to enhance your life rather than to deprive you of life.

Go forth, add favorites to your bookmarks, & prosper.

Photo Credits: Adi Setiawan, Exiree, robad0b, enggul, massdistraction, Daniel Greene

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  1. Angel
    March 30, 2009 at 7:35 am

    In the age of computers and onediy.com/internet/index.html, this post would be of great help. Survey says that in a day an average of 8 hrs is been spent by a person on a computer. With the growing number of people getting glued to their monitors, some helpful tips would be of great help to keep up with good health.
    Thanks for the post.

  2. venkat
    March 22, 2009 at 7:54 am

    very helpfulto bloggers to avoid stress who always sits in front of computer Googling something :)

  3. Emily Roesly
    March 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I'm glad I signed up for the newsletter - articles like this are informative AND fun to read. Thanks for doing a bang up job!

  4. James Withers
    March 15, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Glad everybody liked it. Sorry about the isolated blinding.

  5. Michael Edson, MS, L.Ac.
    March 15, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Along with proper ergonomics, taking regular breaks from the computer to do eye exercises can help prevent or reduce the effects of computer eye strain.

    Our eyes and vision were designed for viewing distance as hunters and gatherers, and not for ongoing near work as required by regular computer use. As a result, Computer Eye Strain is becoming one of the major eye complaints heard by eye doctors today.

    Symptoms can include increased myopia, blurred vision, headaches, slow refocusing, difficulty concentrating, neck, shoulder and back pain

    Eye strain can be reduced significantly by taking regular breaks from the computer, resting your eyes, stretching and doing eye exercises.

    For a demo of 3 great eye exercises by Dr. Grossman, one of the Country's leading behavioral optometrists, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W10j2fL0hy0

    Dr. Grossman also offers his free eye exercise booklet at his website at Natural Eye Care Free Eye Exercises with his 11 favorite eye exercises and acupressure eye points to massage regularly.

    Finally, there is also an excellent section at his website on "Computer Eye Strain" under "Eye Diseases" that provides a Computer Eye Strain “Self-Help“ section with great tips of relieving eyestrain due to computer use.

    Also, a few research studies show that supplementing with 6mg per day of astaxanthin per day significantly improved eye strain at week 2 and 4 of the test period.

    For more information, go to Natural Eye Care for Computer Eye Strain

  6. Honour Chick
    March 15, 2009 at 3:01 am

    great tips :)

  7. Hello
    March 15, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Due to the length of this post, I have been blinded.

  8. Interesting Blog
    March 15, 2009 at 12:58 am

    funny illustrations :)i think i have Googled too much without break to find this article..

  9. Dreamparlour
    March 15, 2009 at 12:44 am

    Loved your post...especially served with a dash of humor.