In recent years, digitization has found its way into many areas of our lives. Even jobs in which the computer has hardly played a role so far, are now hardly without. Longer activities in front of the screen are a special burden for our body. Various studies prove the different effects on our organism.
Not only in professional life, but also in the private sector, digitization is increasingly affecting our everyday lives. Especially the digital media and networked applications change many of our habits. How this will affect our health in the long term has hardly been researched so far.
Typical “office illnesses” are nothing new. As in any other occupational field, one-sided stress and special stress can also cause health problems. Digitization will increase VDU (Visual Display Unit) work even more in the future. At the same time our body faces great challenges.
Most of the time is spent in front of one or more screens in many activities. The screen work is usually carried out while sitting. Even if our body does not seem to be challenged, prolonged static or false posture and lack of exercise can negatively impact our health. Back pain, tension, disc problems or circulatory disorders are the consequences of this activity. In addition, workplaces are not always designed and set up ergonomically.
- An ergonomic chair makes it
possible to individually adjust the seat height, depth, armrests and
backrests. The screen (s) should be approximately at eye level
(constant tilting of the head up or down often results in tensing of the
neck muscles). A wedge pillow automatically forces you to a more
upright (and healthier) sitting position.
- A flexible backrest and a
flexible seat incline adapt to the movements and support dynamic
sitting. The so-called lumbar or lumbar support provides more support
in the lumbar region.
- A seat ball or kneeling chair
provides variety while sitting or a healthy posture, but can become too
strenuous in the long run.
- Folding the legs while sitting
disturbs the blood circulation and can cause further discomfort.
- The keyboard should not be at
the front of the table edge. If the palm of the hand can still be
placed on the work surface, this provides relaxation for the shoulder and
work alone, many people spend eight hours or more sitting down (i.e. Computer
Operators, Software Developer, Database Administrator and many online jobs
like Freelancing, Inbox Dollars Paypal etc). In addition, there may be the round trip,
which is spent at the car, bus or train seat. Not to mention closing
time in front of the TV. Most people lack the necessary balance
through movement in such activities. With such a large amount of
sitting, one, two hours of sports a week is not enough.
It is also problematic that prolonged sitting and a longer static posture have a negative effect on the circulation of the entire organism. Once again the spine is particularly affected. Not only on the spine, back, neck and shoulders have many sitting negative effects. Digestion can also be stopped by lack of exercise. Static posture automatically reduces energy expenditure. Along with malnutrition, more discomfort and disease can result. Overweight and high blood pressure due to lack of exercise are also associated with a rising Alzheimer’s risk.
It is not enough just to have an ergonomic workplace available; everyone can contribute to the healthier work on the monitor with his own behavior. There are many ways to do more while working at the computer:
- Instead of the telephone call
to colleagues in the office next door, this can also be visited in person.
- If the phone, the trash can or
the printer is not within reach, this will also cause you to get up more often
or at least stretch it in between.
- Is a standing workstation
available, this is an optimal way to get more momentum in everyday life. These
are especially recommended for group use. They also promote blood
circulation and thus provide more energy and better
concentration. Just short meetings are an ideal way to be held
- A walk during the lunch break
provides more exercise and can promote stress reduction. The fresh
air also has a positive effect.
Above all, we can help ourselves to stay healthy by dealing with everyday life in computer work. However, ergonomic workplaces are a necessary prerequisite for this. In order to prevent psychological impairment, it is important to establish a suitable balance between digital employment and recreation and exercise.