Little did we know how sitting for hours at a time in front of the screen could damage our body up until we had to face the strain and back pain because of work from home or online classes’ routine. Almost 80% of the adults in the USA suffer from back pain, and one of the major reasons is the physical stress in the workplace.
This physical stress is a consequence of many factors, such as improper office chairs or a poor focus on the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. Office or classroom ergonomics hasn't been a new topic for a while now, and it is now practiced widely worldwide.
But if we talk about computer ergonomics injuries for students, this topic needs to be taken even more seriously. Since the little bodies are more fragile and susceptible to musculoskeletal issues, the ergonomic injury in the classroom can be an unfortunate incident.
Thankfully with the right emphasis on computer-related arm injuries and injuries of other sorts, we can avoid the children from being subjected to a lot of undue stress. This article covers some of the most common computer ergonomic injuries and helpful ways to prevent them.
Common Computer Injuries in Students
Any soreness, discomfort, pain, or condition that occurs due to using a computer is referred to as a computer-related injury. This encompasses conditions caused by bad workspace layout, poor posture, and unpleasant furniture, in addition to recurrent injuries.
A statistics about computer ergonomics injuries shows that almost 93% of computer injuries happen at home. This shows that students who take online classes or adults who work from home often have poor settings that lead to computer-related problems. Below are some common computer-related injuries.
Myofascial Trigger Injury
Myofascial trigger injury results from poor posture or a constant strain in any part of the body. This is one of the most common computer mouse injuries. Myofascial triggers can lead to muscle spasms and constant pain in any part of the body. This computer ergonomics injuries is a resultant of extra strain due to long-term usage of the mouse in the same fixed position.
Computer injuries carpal tunnel are found in people who spend hours working on projects in front of the screen. It is also a result of poor sitting posture or an absence of an ergonomic chair. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most prevalent type of nerve compression injury. When the median nerve in your arm is compressed as it passes through the wrist, it causes this condition.
As a result, the bone and ligament tunnel swells up. Tingling and numbness in the fingers, nighttime agony, and hand weakness or clumsiness are all symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Overuse Injuries Related to Arm
Computer hand injuries are common due to repetitive tension and movements when performed in an awkward position. This is also known as an overuse of computer ergonomics injuries, and the most affected body parts are the hand, wrists, and elbows. This injury leads to constant pain in joints and a feeling of numbness in the arms and hands.
Sciatica or Back Pain
Sciatica is a serious injury that results in compression on a nerve in the lower part of the body. This pain can extend from the lower body to the back and up the spine. This is because of poor posture and improper cushioning against the back. The absence of a chair for back pain in people who have complained about back pain leads to injuries like sciatica.
Eye strain is a common work or study-related injury in which the eyes are tired and hurt because of endless staring at the screen. In severe cases, the injury can lead to eye infections or redness and even weakening of eyesight. In addition, people who use screens in the dark often complain about eye-related injuries.
Neck pain results from strain in the neck because most of us don't proceed with an ergonomic neck position. Neck pain can be a permanent part of life for those who have to look up or down to reach a screen level. In addition, neck pain can become severe if not treated on time.
How to Prevent Computer Ergonomics Injuries
Here are a few ways to address computer-related injuries in the workplace.
Preventing Eye Strain
- Place the screen at or slightly below eye level.
- Adjust the parameters to lower the contrast and brightness of your screen.
- Look away from the screen and concentrate on distant objects.
- Find the best desk lamp for eyes that gives the nearest natural light, so your eyes don't have to strain.
- Ensure that your major source of light (such as a window) is not beaming directly into your face or onto your computer screen.
- Have regular eye exams to ensure that underlying conditions don't cause any blurring, headaches, or other symptoms.
Use the Proper Desk
Neck pain is a common complaint among people who use laptops and desktops. It is a result of your computer screen level being too high or low. There are various ways to combat neck pain. If you are using a simple desk, then getting a monitor arm can be helpful as it allows you to elevate or lower the monitor level to reach the user.
Another great way to prevent neck pain is to use a standing desk so you can adjust the surface of the desk. Standing desks are also helpful in preventing arms and shoulder pains.
The Right Position
Many posture-related problems from computer use can be avoided by properly setting up your workplace. Start by setting your keyboard at a safe distance from your arms. When typing, the wrists should be at the same height as your hands to prevent any strain.
Make sure to place the mouse at a distance that is accessible to you. To prevent any constant strain, place all the frequently used items in your proximity, so you don't have to extend extra muscles to reach the object.
Adjust your Chair
Set the height of your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your hips and knees are close to a 90-degree bend. Adjusting the height of your chair can also help you achieve the 90-degree angle in your elbows; if this raises you too far off the ground, use a footrest.
The greatest desk chairs keep your spine in its natural bend. If yours lacks lower back support, consider adding a cushion.
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