The ill effects of laptop overuse

Written by lisa divirgilio
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The ill effects of laptop overuse
Like any other machine, a laptop must be used wisely. (laptop image by Angie Lingnau from Fotolia.com)

There are ill effects of laptop overuse that involve your health and also the functioning of the laptop. From wrist injuries to eye fatigue, your health is jeopardised when you overuse your computer. Also, overuse of a laptop will create problems within the computer itself, from fan breakdowns to memory capacity overload if you are constantly downloading items.

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Computer-Related Eye Fatigue

According to the website All About Vision, 50 to 90 per cent of those who use computers and laptops at work complain of eye fatigue. Eye fatigue is caused by continuously straining the eye to view a laptop screen. You can avoid eye fatigue by having proper lighting in your workplace, minimising glare from your laptop screen, adjusting the brightness and contrast settings on your computer and getting annual eye exams to make sure that your vision does not need correction. Also, take a one minute break every 45 minutes to an hour to look away from the computer screen for at least two minutes. Even staring at a wall will help to relax and rest the eye for a few minutes before you get back to work.

Wrist, Forearm and Elbow Complications

The way that your hands and wrists are placed while typing on a laptop computer can cause a repetitive stress injury. A repetitive stress injury, or RSI, is caused by activities that require the hand to be in an unnatural position and do motions that it is not used to numerous times. These activities include typing, playing video games and lifting. Symptoms of RSIs include sore wrists, fingers and forearms. To avoid RSIs, take frequent breaks and move your wrists in a circular motion to stretch out the muscles and tendons. If your RSI has already begun, treat it like you would with any other activity-related injury, by resting the area, icing it, elevating it and using compression.

Musculoskeletal Disorders

Musculoskeletal disorders can range from minor aches and pains to severe joint and muscle pain, as well as eye problems and other conditions that must be treated by a doctor. Doctors recommend that those who use computers and laptops regularly report any signs or symptoms of musculoskeletal disorders immediately to stop the problems before they get worse. According to the website Safe Computing Tips, symptoms of these disorders include numbness or burning in hands; weakness in your hands; stiff joints, pains and stiffness in your arms, neck or back; and itchy, dry or sore eyes along with blurred vision or loss of colour recognition. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately to make sure your symptoms do not get any worse.

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