Most of our jobs and professions are directly connected to modern technology. Our government, our businesses, our society as a whole depends on technology and the related processes of automation, computerization and information handling. Of course, these allowed for great advances and a much better quality of life, but they come with a few health challenges we want to address here.
Computer vision syndrome
How many of your friends and people do you know work without a computer? You probably have trouble to name only one. Spending hours and hours in front of a computer screen every single day carry the risk of CVS – Computer vision syndrome. The usual symptoms are headaches, dry eyes, difficulties with focusing and distinguishing colors, blurred or double vision and so on. Some researchers quote that as much as 75% of people who use the computer frequently have some of these symptoms. To avoid these problems, make sure that the monitor is at least two feet away, that it is directly in front of you and about six inches below eye level.
Hearing loss due to earbud use
Headphones revolutionized the world of music in the 20th century and earbuds did the same on the 21st, although we are witnessing the revival of classical headphones. Nevertheless, many people still use the miniature earbuds. The main flaw of this design is that it does not cancel out the background noise, which means that a lot of users keep raising the volume to very high levels. This high decibel noise can have seriously detrimental effects to hearing, leading to hearing loss problems at a young age. So, turn down the volume and switch to noise-canceling headphones.
It is a serious condition related to prolonged sitting periods, such as when working in front of a computer. It is related to deep vein thrombosis, a condition where blood clots form in veins, most often in the legs. Clots form when blood supply is slow or completely halted. Not many cases of thrombosis as a result of only computer use have been documented, but it is a reason to be careful and to take basic precautions. The easiest way to do this is to stand up and take a short stroll every half an hour or so. Only a minute or two is enough. Also, try not to cross your legs when sitting down and have your lunch walking around.
Social anxiety disorder
It might sound strange, but some people cannot handle technology and the way it makes the world smaller and more accessible. They tend to feel boxed in and have an intense fear of being watched and judged by other people. It can be so severe that it leads to all kinds of problems involving work, school and many other activities. This disorder is still heavily researched, and experts believe it to be a consequence of a combination of factors.