Avoiding Health Hazards at Your Desk

Computers have transformed our lives and the way businesses operate, and more people find themselves sitting at a desk, staring at a screen all day. But, over time, working at a computer can strain your health and lead to more serious, costly conditions if left unattended.

The Toll of Technology

Spending hours in front of a computer all day can take a toll on your body. According to thehealthsite.com*, the six health problems commonly associated with computer usage – and how to correct them – include:

1. Musculoskeletal problems, including muscle soreness and pain in the neck, back and arms.
Remedies:
• Adjust your chair and desk so your computer screen is at eye level.
• Sit up straight and keep your legs perpendicular to the floor.
• Take periodic breaks to stretch and walk around.

2. Repetitive stress injury, caused by using muscles in an awkward position, can include stiffness, pain and swelling. Carpal tunnel syndrome is also common.
Remedies:
• Be sure your mouse is beside the keyboard and move your entire arm to navigate the mouse.
• Type gently.
• Take breaks and be sure to relax and stretch your arms.

3. Vision problems, including dry eyes and strained or blurred vision.
Remedies:
• Adjust your screen’s contrast and brightness.
• Periodically look away from your computer to rest your eyes.
• Blink often.

4. Headaches, due to muscle tension or neck pain.
Remedies:
• Have your vision checked annually.
• Take breaks, walk around and stretch your neck.

5. Obesity, due to decreased activity.
Remedies:
• Exercise and stay physically active.
• Avoid spending additional time on a computer at home.

6. Stress disorders, aggravated by technology, can lead to fatigue and a lack of concentration.
Remedies:
• Exercise.
• Eat right.
• Get plenty of rest.

*Reference: The Computer User’s Survival Guide: Staying Healthy in a High Tech World by Joan Stigliani

Want to incorporate more activity into your day? Talk to a Healthy Lifestyle Coach.

All Cox Medical Plan members have free access to health coaching. Aetna has a dedicated team of health coaches who will work with you, over the phone and on your schedule, to accomplish your health goals. Conversations between you and your health coach are private. Call 866-213-0153 today to schedule a session.

Read the full thehealthsite.com article.