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Ch 21 computer and your health


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Ch 21 computer and your health

  1. 1. 1 Health Problems • Legislation sets out the guidelines for the use of computers in the workplace. • Health problems are: – Eyestrain, – Repetitive Strain Injury, – Back ache, – Psychological stress.
  2. 2. 2 EyeStrain • Eyes can become strained after staring at a computer screen for a long time, particularly if working in bad light, in glare or with a flickering screen. • Fortunately, eyestrain is usually a temporary problem • Symptoms • Burning or itching eyes • Blurring or double vision • Headache • Nausea • Fatigue
  3. 3. 3 Solutions • Use monitors which don't flicker • Have blinds at the windows so that the sun doesn't shine directly on the screen • Use suitable lights that disperse light evenly and don't shine on the screen • Use a screen filter • Keep your eyes at least 18 inches from the screen • Regularly look away from the screen and focus on something in the distance • Take regularly breaks - at least 5 minutes break every hour • Have regular eye tests and wear glasses if prescribed
  4. 4. 4 2. Back Pain • Many computer users suffer serious back problems. • This is probably due to a poor posture or an awkward position while sitting at a computer. • Some of the things that people can do to help • avoid back pain are: • Use a fully adjustable chair. The height of the chair and the seat position should be easy to change. • Use footrests so that the legs are kept at a more natural angle • Use a monitor which is adjustable. Position it so that the neck doesn't have to bend • Take regular breaks and walk about. • Sit with the back straight and the head up, don't slouch
  5. 5. 5 3.Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is damage to the fingers, wrists and other parts of the body due to repeated movements over a long period of time. • Symptoms: • In the arms and hands: • aching • pain in arms/wrists even after rest • weakness • swelling • tenderness • numbness • pins and needles or burning sensation • In the shoulders and neck: • stiffness • aching
  6. 6. 6 Causes & Solutions • Causes • Typing or using the mouse for long periods of time • Using too much force on your fingers when typing • Using a poorly designed keyboard • Workstation or chair is the wrong height so arms are in an unnatural position. • Solutions • Ensure workstation and chair are the correct height • Support wrists by using wrist rests • Keep elbows close to your sides • Five minute break from typing at least every hour
  7. 7. 7 4.Stress • Stress brought on through the use of computers is one of the major causes of work related illness. • There are many different reasons why people become stressed at work. However, here is a list of some of the major causes brought about by the use of computers: • Many people are afraid of computers, they don't understand them and feel they will look stupid if they admit that they don't know how to operate one. • People worry that a computer will be able to replace them and they might lose their jobs. • Things change so fast in the world of computing that it can be very stressful just trying to keep up to date with new ideas, techniques and equipment, especially for older people. • It is getting increasingly hard to separate work and home life. People can be contacted easily by their bosses or clients. E-mail, the Internet and mobile phones mean that people continue to work even after they have left the office.
  8. 8. 8 Health & Safety Regulations 1992 • Employers are required to: – analyse employees workstations to assess and reduce risks, – ensure workstations meet minimum standards, – plan work times for changes and breaks, – arrange eye tests where requested and provide special spectacles if needed, – provide health and safety training, – provide relevant information for the employee.
  9. 9. 9 Equipment • Display screens: adjustable, flicker free, reflection, brightness etc. • Keyboards: tilt-able, no glare, sufficient arm and hand support. • Desks: enough space for equipment and a document holder for copying. • Chairs: adjustable for height, free movement, foot rest if required. • Lights: contrast the screen to the background, window blinds, glare and reflection. • Noise: computer noise kept to a minimum level. • Temperature control: monitors emit heat, need ventilation. • Software: design should be consistent and at the users skills level.
  10. 10. 10 Practical Implications • Inspections of working practices and equipment. • Training of employees in posture and use of equipment. • Job design for breaks and changes of work. • Eye tests should be available, regular and free. • Systems and furniture designed to minimum requirements in accordance with the good practice previously discussed. • Other Workplace Hazards • These are general for most work environments but must also be considered: • Fire: power sockets, paper lying about. • Obstructions: wires, boxes of paper, equipment. • Electrical: fuses, circuitry, bare wires, tampering. • Other: lifting heavy items, first aid, fire evacuation etc.
  11. 11. 11 Things that must be considered when designing an office 1. Adequate lighting. 2. No glare. 3. Minimal noise. 4. Good leg room. 5. Blinds 6. Appropriate software. 7. Placement of VDU. 8. Adjusted keyboard 9. Clear work surface 10. Adjustable chair 11. Proper ventilation & temperature
  12. 12. 12 Things that must be considered when designing an office • Avoid the use of single pendant lamps as they produce glare on computer VDUs. • Use florescent tubes with diffusers or that produce artificial daylight. • Avoid the use of carpets made from artificial fibres as these cause static electricity. • Windows should have adjustable blinds so that sunlight will not produce glare on computer VDUs. • Cables should be ducted and not allowed to trail across the floor. • Sufficient power sockets with surge resisters should be installed so that only one piece of equipment is plugged in to each socket.