Common health issues/ computer workers
Thread poster: Lingua 5B

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:46
German to Serbian
+ ...
Jun 22, 2009

Hello all,

I'd like to know what health issues you experienced that can be associated with a longtime staring at the computer screen, hypnotized position, lack of movement, computer machine sounds and heating and alike.

I can start with one issue that I believe is common among all of you and that's eye strain. I was thinking about changing my monitor ( now I use LG LCD) with an old type monitor, as allegedly they are much healthier for eyes and against migraines? I hear that pro programmers use these old monitors for the same reasons.

I do yoga exercises, and also special eye yoga exercises, but I did notice this flat LCD monitor causes more eye and headache problems in the long run.

Your experiences?


 

Michael Barnett
Local time: 00:46
English
+ ...
Urban myth? Jun 22, 2009

Interestingly, the concept that working on a keyboard causes "carpal tunnel syndrome" may very well be an urban myth promulgated by a journalist in the 1990s. I have read that there are no scientific studies to support it, although I have not reviewed the literature myself.

As for your question, it provoked my interest, so I did a quick review. I'll look into it further later when I get some time, but I have included the abstract to an article that studied the question of VDT eye concerns.



Effect of VDUs on the eyes: report of a 6-year epidemiological study.[see comment].
Cole BL. Maddocks JD. Sharpe K.
Optometry & Vision Science. 73(8):512-28, 1996 Aug.
[Comparative Study. Journal Article. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
UI: 8869982

Undefined
Authors Full Name
Cole, B L. Maddocks, J D. Sharpe, K.

AB One thousand, three hundred and sixteen office workers [692 visual display unit (VDU) users, 624 controls in the first year] were examined once each year over a 6-year period to establish whether or not VDU work was a factor in the occurrence of visual symptoms, ocular abnormalities, or ocular disease. Statistical analysis showed that although there were differences between VDU users and nonusers in the amount of myopia, the prevalence of some symptoms, and the prevalence of signs of fundal or vitreal disease, the differences were small and there were no clear trends or patterns to lend convincing support to the hypothesis that VDU work may be a risk factor. There were no significant differences in the prevalence and incidence of cataract.


Regards,

Michael


 

James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:46
Russian to English
+ ...
My personal experience Jun 22, 2009

Years ago I developed a neck problem caused by computer use. I had recently begun wearing bifocals, and I found that I had to raise my chin and hold my head at an unnatural angle in order to be able to properly see my computer's display. Use of "computer glasses," which are reading glasses with a longer focal distance, has helped, but I spent many hours with a physical therapist in order to reduce the pain and stiffness in my neck, and today I have arthritis in my neck. I'm convinced it was caused by spending long hours with my head cocked back while working under a great deal of stress.

The lessons to be learned? Make sure you work in a comfortable position, take frequent breaks and move around, stretch and stay loose, get enough exercise.

[Edited at 2009-06-22 18:41 GMT]


 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:46
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Benefeits of LCD Jun 23, 2009

Lingua 5B wrote:
I can start with one issue that I believe is common among all of you and that's eye strain. I was thinking about changing my monitor ( now I use LG LCD) with an old type monitor, as allegedly they are much healthier for eyes and against migraines? I hear that pro programmers use these old monitors for the same reasons.
Your experiences?

The opposite. I used to have a good 21" CRT screen (what you call 'old monitor') and now have a 24" LCD screen with a very high resolution of 1920 x 1200 (in fact 2 such screens). This gives a rock-steady picture and I certainly find it better for the eyes because there is absolutely no flicker compared to CRT screens.


 

Dragomir Kovacevic  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:46
Italian to Serbian
+ ...
LCD monitors Jun 25, 2009

You might try decreasing illumination and contrast on your lcd monitor. Specially, the contrast is preset on extremelly high level and produces extreme glare of white surfaces. The way to do the adjustments is to flatten contrast on lowest level, then set desired brightness, and finally the contrast.

On Windows, fonts in View aspects, should be set at least on "larger". Some people also increase (virtual) DPI, from 96, to 120 DPi, so that any object, images, fonts, windows, become larger. The latter measure is not recommended to people who do graphics on computer, since the relative size of images and its resolution, appear greater.

Dragomir

Lingua 5B wrote:


Hello all,

I'd like to know what health issues you experienced that can be associated with a longtime staring at the computer screen, hypnotized position, lack of movement, computer machine sounds and heating and alike.

I can start with one issue that I believe is common among all of you and that's eye strain. I was thinking about changing my monitor ( now I use LG LCD) with an old type monitor, as allegedly they are much healthier for eyes and against migraines? I hear that pro programmers use these old monitors for the same reasons.

I do yoga exercises, and also special eye yoga exercises, but I did notice this flat LCD monitor causes more eye and headache problems in the long run.

Your experiences?


[Edited at 2009-06-25 17:14 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:46
German to English
+ ...
Carpal tunnel is not the only repetitive strain problem Jun 30, 2009

Michael -

It may very well be true in some cases of carpal tunnel that they are caused by something else (my own mother's was caused by typing); I don't know. What I do know is that there are many types of repetitive strain injuries that are often lumped under the term "carpal tunnel," although they have nothing to do with that particular problem, and that they can be caused by computer work performed too long/improperly.

My own problem was pain/tingling/numbness in my wrists and arms, which turned out not to be carpal tunnel, but simply a muscle and tendon inflammation caused by overwork and exacerbated by the way I was sleeping. It was solved through rest, physical therapy and chiropractic treatments. I know I also must use a trackball rather than a mouse, or I develop a knot in my shoulder that causes severe headaches. I wonder if people with a family history of arthritis are more likely to develop these problems?

Lingua 5B -

In the case of LCD, that type of screen seems much easier on my eyes than the old style. Maybe you are having issues with the contrast, or simply working for too-long stretches - have you tried setting an alarm and only working for 15/20/30 minutes at a time before getting up and taking a break?


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 06:46
German to Serbian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
A reply Jun 30, 2009

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

Lingua 5B -

In the case of LCD, that type of screen seems much easier on my eyes than the old style. Maybe you are having issues with the contrast, or simply working for too-long stretches - have you tried setting an alarm and only working for 15/20/30 minutes at a time before getting up and taking a break?


Thank you all for your replies and insights, much appreciated.

Yes, I do take breaks and exercise. I'm actually adjusted to the LCD monitor now but I had some problems with it when I first got it. I agree that contrasting and sharpening the picture until you get the best one for your eyes helps a lot.

I just wanted to hear about your experiences on this and compare the outcomes. It looks like the theory that favors the old type of monitors is not fully grounded, or at least not for any type of work. Perhaps people who work with graphics need different screen settings etc.

Daina Jauntirans wrote:I develop a knot in my shoulder that causes severe headaches. I wonder if people with a family history of arthritis are more likely to develop these problems?


It could be, but not necessarily. My massage therapist told me that whatever we do ( any type of work or everyday activity), it is highly important to always keep your back and shoulders straight - no other things will help you much if you don't do that.


 

AlisaIWW
United States
Russian to English
+ ...
What Dragomir said. Oct 9, 2009

Also, a long time ago I set the background on all windows to gray, overriding whatever the program choice of background is (usually white), including internet browsers. Much easier on the eyes and the brain.

 

Jacques DP  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 06:46
Member (2003)
English to French
Zoom factor Oct 10, 2009

I could write a book on this, since there are many aspects to it and I experimented a lot along the years.

Just one suggestion for now: try increasing the zoom factor in Word or Tageditor. Right now in Word I have a 245% zoom factor (on a large, good quality LCD screen.)

[Edited at 2009-10-10 14:28 GMT]


 

C.M. Rawal  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:16
Member (2007)
English to Hindi
+ ...
You may like to solve your problems your own way but I do like this Nov 6, 2009

I don't have any problem with computer, may be a desktop or a laptop.
I use my laptop like a desktop. I have attached a separate keyboard and a mouse to my laptop.
I have a normal computer table for my desktop/laptop and have a good quality computer chair also.
I keep the work area properly lighted.
I use my normal bifocal specs for my daily use. However, I have got an extra pair of bifocal specs tailor-made for computer use. Here, the reading lenses are the same but in place of the distance lenses I have reading lenses adjusted to the distance of the computer screen (almost an arm's length distance), i.e., my computer bifocal specs have two pairs of reading lenses, one for normal reading and the other for computer reading. This way, I am able to read the text to be typed in a normal way and also look at the typed text on the screen without putting any strain on my neck.
I can always keep my back straight as I don't have to bend myself forward for looking at the computer screen.
And to keep fit, I go for my daily morning walks, do some Yoga and other exercises.
With all this, I feel comfortable while working and don't get stressed up.
Others may also like to share their

C.M. Rawal


 


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