How sitting in front of a screen all day is ruining your health
It is practically impossible to get away from screens these days. From your computer at work to your mobile, our lives are ruled by screens.
Excessive use can take a toll on your health so here are five conditions to look our for and how to prevent them.
HOW IT HAPPENS: Humans are not built to stare at the specific type of blue light from computer screens. Being exposed to this light for countless hours each day, we are slowly but surely hurting our eyes.
The glare and contrast from these screens all adds up to more stress on our eyes.
You will know you have strained your eyes if they feel dry or irritated and you have other symptoms such as headaches and double vision.
Staring at a screen for too long could also give you blurred vision.
HOW TO PREVENT IT: Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes or so. Stare at something in the distance for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to your screen.
Try to stare only at one screen for most of the day so your eyes don't have to keep adjusting between your laptop and phone screens. Position your computer or laptop so that there is no extra glare from a window or overhead light.
BACK, NECK, SHOULDER PAIN
HOW IT HAPPENS: It is all to do with your posture. When you are sitting in a wrong position for long periods of time, it is going to affect you even more.
Slouching could lead to chronic neck pain. Sitting for a long time also affects blood circulation, which means that your body could get stiff after some time.
HOW TO PREVENT IT: Stand up and walk around every 30 minutes. Stretch your arms and roll your shoulders too. Raising your knee improves circulation.
Use a chair with good back support - or get an ergonomic one - and make sure your computer screen is at eye level or slightly lower.
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
HOW IT HAPPENS: The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway near your wrist and this condition happens when the nerve that runs from your forearm to your palm is under pressure.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a result of performing the same actions over and over, such as using your mouse or keyboard.
Your wrist could swell and you will feel a pins and needles kind of tingling in your fingers and palms.
HOW TO PREVENT IT: Don't neglect your wrists when you are taking a break and doing stretches. Bend your wrists and move your fingers around often.
Try not to use your mouse or keyboard consistently for long periods of time. When you slide your mouse, move your entire arm not just your wrist; this puts less strain on it.
HOW IT HAPPENS: You are so engrossed in meeting deadlines that you spend more time at your computer at work than you need to. When you are home, you just want to binge-watch a series on Netflix. It is worse if you have the habit of snacking on junk food.
HOW TO PREVENT IT: Take a walk around the office every 20 to 30 minutes so you get a break in your routine and some exercise. Make sure this doesn't involve going to the pantry for a snack. Though binge-watching is something we all do, try not to make a habit of it- or fit in a workout beforehand.