In our day and age computers are an undisputed necessity within the workplace and whilst our dependency on technology increases in the office, unfortunately so does the risk of numerous computer-related disorders.
2.1 AILMENTS WHICH OCCUR FROM INTENSIVE COMPUTER USE
It was stated, in 2003, that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were “by far the most commonly reported work-related illnesses in Great Britain, with an estimated 1,108,000 people ever employed affected” (Institute of Occupational Medicine, 2007).The term musculoskeletal disorder refers to injuries that affect the movement of the body or the musculoskeletal system such as muscles, nerves, blood vessels etc. (Middlesworth, 2015). Many of these disorders include muscle strain, repetitive strain injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and shoulder pain and mechanical back syndrome.
Repetitive strain injuries (RSI) are a result of repeated movements which cause harm to nerves, muscles and other soft body tissues. The repetitive motion of clicking a mouse or typing on a keyboard may cause such disorders but computers are used so often that users cannot see the signs until they have already been harmed. Similarly, carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a condition which can also be caused by strenuous, repetitive activities such as typing. The symptoms of this condition include “aching, tingling and numbness in the affected hand” and fingers (Arthritis Research UK, 2012).
Neck and shoulder pain and mechanical back pain symptoms are also very common amongst intensive computer users. These symptoms usually result from bad habits such as incorrect bending and lifting motions and poorly-designed seating as well as “repetitive motion, forceful exertions and awkward postures” (...
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...e top of the monitor to avoid straining their eyes; their arms are placed horizontally when typing to prevent repetitive strain injury or carpal tunnel syndrome; and that they have enough space beneath their desk to move their legs freely. Extra precautions that an employee could take for comfort, as well as health and safety, include obtaining a wrist-rest, a footrest, a document holder (placed between the bottom of the monitor and the top of the keyboard to reduce any awkward neck/eye movement), adjusting the brightness/contrast levels of the monitor along with making any adjustments to the lighting within the work environment.
Many sources agree that maintaining the health and safety of everyone within the workplace falls under the numerous amount of responsibilities handled by the management, however, employees are also required to contribute to this.
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