We spend more and more time behind a screen. When it comes to ergonomics, this is not without risk: almost a quarter of the workforce worldwide has RSI complaints. What are the effects of screen work on your health? And how can you avoid strain complaints? R-Go Tools investigated this for you.
Most common physical complaints
The risk of strain problems arises after only 4 hours of computer work per day. The most common physical complaints are:
- RSI: When working at a computer screen, this strain is mainly due to typing and mouse usage. This leads to repetitive, overuse of the tendons in the hand and wrist. Working in the same position behind a screen for too long also affects the neck and shoulder muscles. Also, this increased muscle tension reduces blood circulation.
- Eye complaints: Looking at a screen for long periods of time is not recommended. You blink less with your eyes and they become tired or dry and you may experience a burning sensation. This can lead to painful eyes, double or blurred vision and headaches. In addition, the layout, size, use of colour and legibility of the screen also contribute to the development of eye complaints.
- Neck and back complaints: Many people adopt a hunched posture when working at a screen. An upright posture means that the weight of your head is naturally supported by your spine. By contrast, with a bend over posture, the neck muscles have to bear the weight. What is the consequence of this? The neck muscles become strained, blood circulation is reduced, this leads to pain and sometimes nerve constrictions.
Tip: the 5 factors within the workplace
Do you want to prevent strain complaints and continue to work in a healthy way? Keep in mind the following 5 factors within the workplace:
- Work Tasks: The less variety you have in your work, the greater the risk becomes of physical complaints. A diverse range of tasks results in strain being distributed throughout the whole body.
- Working Hours: The number of hours you work at a screen has a major impact on your chance of getting physical complaints. Take short breaks to give your body a chance to recover.
- Work pressure: The stress that comes with high levels of work pressure are both mentally and physically demanding. For example, stress causes high adrenalin levels which leads to fatigue. Stress increases muscle tension which leads to poor blood circulation. Finally, stress distracts you from your own body signals that indicate the onset of strain. Before you realise it, you have exceeded your limits.
- Working methods: The way you work is very important. Do you know which posture is healthy for your body? Are you moving enough to stimulate blood circulation? And do you regularly change position?
- Workplace: An ergonomically designed workplace unconsciously stimulates you to adopt a healthy posture when working at a screen. Make sure your screen is adjustable by using, for example, a monitor raiser and consider using an ergonomic keyboard and a vertical mouse. It sounds obvious, but constantly paying attention to a good working posture often gets forgotten!
Do you want to know more?
In our white paper you will find everything you need to know about healthy working practices with screens from an ergonomic perspective. Download it below!