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Computer Related Health Hazards
Research Topics
 Repetitive Strain Injuries
 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
 Eye Strains and Computer Vision Syndrome
 Internet Addiction
 Stress and Depression
 Radiation
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a Repetitive Stress
Injury (RSI) caused when the median nerve is pushed by
the flexor tendons inside the tunnel made up of the wrist
bones, or carpals.
How is CTS caused
 The forearm flexor tendons and a few nerves pass through
a small tunnel formed by the wrist bones, or carpals, into
the hand. As you move you hands and fingers, the flexor
tendons rub against the sides of the tunnel, sometimes
causing them to swell and push the median nerve. When
the median nerve is pushed by the tendons, we feel pain.
Symptoms of CTS injury
 Pain that may run up the hand into the wrist and arm
 Numbness and coldness in the hands
 Loss of strength and/or joint movement
 Discomfort and stiffness in the hands
 The need to massage your hands, wrists and arms
 Swelling and coldness in the hand
Reasons for CTS injury
 Stress will increase muscle tension causing pain
 Long hours in the keyboard, especially those that type
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more than four hours
Lack of circulation in the muscles that prevents nutrients
and oxygen to reach the tissues
Inadequate rest and breaks
Genetic predisposition due to the amount of lubrication of
the flexor tendons that one receives and the tunnel's
geometry
Other health problems like diabetes and rheumatoid
arthritis
Poor posture including the sitting, placement of hands on
the keyboard and proper height of the keyboard
Poor diet (lack of vitamins)
CTS Treatment
 Rest, rest and more rest
 Use of a wrist brace or splint
 Take medication like ibuprofen
 Cut back on sugar, caffeine, alcohol and take vitamins
 Keep hands warm, take breaks, exercise your hands and
arms
 Correct your typing and use your knowledge of
ergonomics
 Surgery should be your last retreat if everything else fails
Eye Strains
 Eye strain is the single largest complaint of VDT users
causing soreness, irritation, blurred vision, redness,
dryness and tenderness of the eyes.
Symptoms of Eye Strains
 Impaired vision, double vision and blurred vision
 Difficulty looking at one point for a period of time
 Itchy dry eyes and discomfort while looking at the VDT
 Headaches
 Eye fatigue that can have serious impact later in life
Reasons for this injury
 Bad monitor resolution, flickering, or glare at the monitor
 Poor lighting conditions in the computer room
 Electromagnetic radiation emitted by the VDT (UVA)
 Staring at anything for a long period of time will cause
blurred vision
 Loss of negative ions in the atmosphere due to electrostatic
charges on the face of the CRT
Eye Strain Treatment
 Use your knowledge of ergonomics
 Take breaks when you feel strained
 Use your laptop when possible because the monitor emits
less radiation
 Adjust the brightness of your screen
 Wear protective eye glasses
Internet Addiction
 Use Internet every day without days off
 Loosing track of time while surfing the Net
 Staying home more loosing social contacts
 Denial of high usage
 51% of Internet addicts suffer severe job impairment
 58% get addicted within the first 12 months of Internet
usage
Stress and Depression
 Computer operators experience more stress than any other
occupational group the National Institute of Occupational
Safety and Health has studied
Other Computer Related Health Hazards
 Back problems (pain) caused from the efforts of the muscle
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to hold your posture for long periods of time
Skin rashes that are caused from the static fields in front of
the screen causing ions and pollutants in the air to become
positively charged and attach themselves to your
negatively charged skin (especially in low humidity)
Abnormal reproductive outcomes (?) due to
electromagnetic radiation's affects on biological functions
and biochemical processes inside our cells
Cancer and leukemia (?)
Skin aging (?)
Ergonomics
 Ergonomics, the "science of work," is a field of technology
that considers human capabilities and limitations in the
design of machines and objects that people use, the work
processes that they must follow, and the environments in
which they operate."
A few ergonomic advice
 Use a chair that has full support of your back, is adjustable, and has a
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footrest and armrest
Place your feet firmly on the floor
Use an ergonomic keyboard that is angled or can split to enjoy a more
natural typing position
Use a wrist rest that is comfortable
Place your hands straight when typing, the angle of your forearm and
upper arm should be 90 degrees
Sit 24 to 28 inches away from your monitor
Place the monitor 15-30 degrees below your straight-ahead line of sight
Keep your body away from the sides and backs of monitors to reduce
the exposure of radiation
Avoid glare on your monitor (do not have strong sources of light in
your back) and use screens that minimize glare
Use the proper light in your work environment that is compatible with
the monitor frequency