Computers Are Making Users Sick – Health and Safety Essay
Almost half of all PC users in the UK have experienced health problems caused by using computers, research has found. According to a poll conducted by computer retailer PC World, eye strain was the most common
problem associated with computer use, suffered by 25 per cent of users.
About 15 per cent had experienced back pain, while headaches were experienced by 14 per cent of users. Of those surveyed, 11 per cent cited wrist pain and 10 per cent shoulder pain caused by prolonged PC use. A PC World representative said that health and safety guidelines introduced in UK businesses had not trickled down to home users.
“It’s too easy to compromise your health. Adopting a simple routine of looking up, easing up or stretching and ultimately getting away from the PC can help you to avoid some of the aches and pains caused by extended use,” he said. In an average day, 18 per cent of people spend two or more hours using a PC at home, and 15 per cent at work. Two in five respondents took no breaks in two hours of PC usage.
Respondents were also asked whether they used any of a range of products including flat-screen monitors, which help minimise eye strain, and ergonomic keyboards and mousemats. The majority of home users, 59 per cent used none of these products, with 54 per cent at work also using none.
The most popular product was the mousemat with wrist rest, with 27 per cent of home PC users and 31 per cent at work using these products. Monitor screens designed to minimise glare were used by 14 per cent at home while six per cent were using ergonomic keyboards.
In conjunction with the charity AbilityNet, PC World said it would launch a campaign to raise awareness of good computing practice to minimise the health risks associated with PC use.AbilityNet hopes to raise awareness of the health risks of PC use.