Computer Hazards

There are various hazards to consider when using computer systems.  Employers take steps to educate employees on safe practices as well as provide proper equipment to promote a safe work environment.

It is also important to be aware of computer hazards and how to use computer systems safely at home.

Eye strain

The eyes can be come hurt or damaged when staring at a screen for long periods of time without a break. Flickering monitors, brightly lit screens, and glare can contribute to eye strain.

Depiction of a person suffering from eye strain, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eye pain
  • Burning in Eyes
  • Headache
  • Nausea

You should:

  • Use properly working monitors or screens
  • Use Anti-glare screens or monitors
  • Reduce the intensity of brightly lit screens
  • Use screens that display text that is clear and easily readable

Back Ache

Lower back pain
Injurymap, CC BY 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Poor posture can contribute to pain and stress of the back and neck.

You should:

  • Use an adjustable ergonomic chair
  • Use an adjustable monitor

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)

This is muscle or nerve injury caused by repetitive movements over a long period of time.

Any part of the body that performs repetitive actions can be subject to RSI.

Some examples of actions that can lead to RSI

Symptoms of the affected areas include:

  • Pain and Tenderness
  • Throbbing pain
  • Stiffness
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Cramps

You should:

  • Practice using good posture and technique when doing repetitive tasks
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Use ergonomically designed equipment

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome isBruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Force on the wrist and bad posture contributes to carpal tunnel syndrome, which in this case, makes it a form of repetitive strain injury.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
BruceBlaus. staff (2014). "Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436., CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Symptoms include:

  • numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the thumb and fingers, in particular the index and middle fingers and radial half of the ring finger[1]
  • wrist pain
  • Pain an strain in the upper forearm or arms
  • Loss of grip strength in hands

You should:

  • Use wrist stretching and exercise as a preventative measure
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Use ergonomically designed equipment

Hearing loss

Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones with Carry Case
Florian Fuchs/Wikipedia/CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Hearing loss and damage can occur by listening to moderately loud sounds and music for long periods of time.

Symptoms include:

  • Permanent partial loss of hearing
  • Ringing in ears

You should:

  • Use headphones at a safe and low volume level
  • Reduce your exposure to loud sounds when playing videogames or watching videos
  • Ensure that you start using audio devices at low levels first and then adjusting the volume to safe levels.
  • Set all volume levels on hardware controls to low when you are finished using devices.

Computer Addiction

Internet addiction
Sam  Wolff from Phoenix, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

This refers to excessive or compulsive use of computer systems and devices such that an individual personal , social and professional life is affected negatively.

Symptoms include[2]:


  • Backache
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Disturbances in sleep
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Blurred or strained vision

Psychological / Behavioral

  • Feelings of guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Euphoric feelings when in front of the computer
  • Unable to keep schedules
  • No sense of time
  • Isolation
  • Defensiveness
  • Avoiding doing work
  • Agitation provides the following tips for helping someone who is addicted to a computer or the Internet[3]:

  • Introduce the Internet addict to other people who handle their use of the Internet reasonably.
  • Serve as a good role model for the Internet addict by properly managing your own use of computers and the Internet.
  • Support a person’s desire for change if it appears that he or she is an Internet addict.
  • Talk to the person about your concerns that he or she may be an Internet addict.
  • Get the person involved in interests that aren’t related to the Internet.
  • Encourage an Internet addict to seek professional counseling.

Radiation from mobile phones

Mobile phones use and produce electromagnetic radiation.  Electromagnetic radiation is dangerous in high doses; however, international manufacturing standards prevent the production of mobile devices that are dangerous for use.

Cell phone towers produce large amounts of electromagnetic radiation and can be very harmful in to persons in close proximity.  People should not come within 1500 feet ( 460 meters) of a cellphone tower, or be in an area of overlap of 6 cellphone towers.[4]

Closure – Discussion on Content after Reading/Study

See the video below:

Update: Added video discussion (Wed 29th Sept 2021)

© 2018  Vedesh Kungebeharry. All rights reserved.





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