Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blessing or Curse

Thursday, November 15, 2007
People in the IT field are earning huge amounts of money in comparison with others but, what are they paying for it, their health. Many take it for granted but in the long run it could be more harmful than anything else. And one more fact to be understood is that just because you exercise regularly and are fit and do not work for fifteen hours a day doesn’t mean you will not be affected. And its not the usual burning eyes, headache, back pain, its far more serious.
A banglorean and IT employee vijayakumar first suffered from numbness then pain; ultimately he stopped driving his car and couldn’t lift his kids. Similar situation happened with nitin, he is a long runner and could lift 40-pound barbell , but cant switch to second gear and had to stay at home for two to three months, all this because of computer.
Computer related injuries(CRI) are at large now and many fail to see their significance and end up in trouble. Our bodies can endure a certain amount of repetitive stress and bad posture before the nerves begin to come apart. The reason why it’s so alarming is how acute the injuries can be. While most repetitive stress can be fixed, the risk of relapse is permanent and could lead to lifelong damage and pain.
The most significant of it all is the RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury).RSI is a multifactor complaints syndrome affecting the neck, upper back, and shoulder, upper and lowers arm, elbow, wrist or hand, or a combination of these areas, which leads either to impairment or to participation problems. Diagnosis of RSI is entirely based on a skilled musculoskeletal examination by an expert, and no "special" tests including MRI scans or nerve conduction studies can reliably diagnose it.

A few things to remember while sitting before a computer
  • Keep your wrist unsupported while typing. Do not use gel pads as wrist-rests.
  • Sit with your back supported against the chair’s backrest, and with thighs sloping down slightly so that your hips are higher than your knees
  • If your boss won’t do it for you, invest in an ergonomically sound office chair: ideally, one with a head-rest and lumbar support. The seat-height, and the angle between seat and chair back should be adjustable.
  • If you feel a CRI coming, address it early. Learn preventive stretches from a CRI expert.
  • Make sure a light source or window is not directly reflecting off your screen—for instance, by building a simple shade out of file folders.
  • Blink regularly or use a solution to keep your eyes lubricated; running a humidifier in an air-conditioned office can also help avoid dry-eye symptoms.
  • It is better to have your head angled down to your screen than up—having to look up at a screen reduces blink-rates.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Laptops are an inherently un-ergonomic device as the screen and the keyboard are attached. When using a laptop at home or office, use an external keyboard and mouse, and a laptop stand to prop the screen to eye level. Ideally your keyboard and laptop should be placed just above the level of your lap, with your elbow at an angle of 100 degrees
  • Consult an expert before using any medication targeting CRIs.
All this is not frighten you away from the system but to make you aware, and use it sensibly and properly. After all earning in big numbers is not at all important but u should also be fit enough to enjoy them.


Weekend Warrior said...

Hey very useful post. This is a problem faced all over the world. Better working conditions and more breaks can help a lot.