By Dr. Rachna Pande
Laptop computers have become very popular world over due to the ease in carrying and using them. But now with more and more people using it, over time health hazards are also being identified.
Laptops with wifi are the in-thing today. They generate electromagnetic radiation more than ordinary laptops. This increases warmth over the groins, when held over the lap. Therefore it can cause sexual impotence if put on the lap for a long time. Most of the youngsters put it on their laps while doing any work or watching movies. This may be for more than an hour or 2 hours continuously. The heat generated over the scrotal region tends to reduce sperm production resulting in male infertility. Some people tend to put a cushion between lap and laptop but this strategy is not useful. The laptop fan starts working due to the overheating caused by the cushion, generating hot air. This will generate more heat over the lap though indirectly.
The continuous movement of fingers and hands over the keyboard can lead to painful cramps in the fingers and hands and even induce arthritis. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be induced due to continuous hand movements, where the median nerve gets entrapped at the wrist leading to severe burning pain in hands and fingers.
Since one would often bend the neck or stretch it out for using a laptop, neck is strained causing pain. Backache can be precipitated or augmented by bending or turning of back while working on laptops. In middle aged or elderly persons, cervical and lumber spondylosis is precipitated and aggravated.
Eyes are subjected to strain with laptops as much as with desktops. Looking at a computer screen for long time, strains the eyes causing eye pain and chronic unexplained headache. Power of accommodation of eyes is impaired resulting in deranged far vision.
These hazards can be avoided and one can remain healthy while using laptops. One should try to put the laptop on an even surface if it has to be used for a long time. The surface should be ideally at such a level that the neck is not bent or strained while working. The back should be kept straight and supported if possible.
Adjustment of posture should be such that the fingers and hands remain supported below or do not have to reach far while working. Regular exercise of the wrists, hands and neck helps to maintain their flexibility and prevents painful cramps. The screen should not be too bright and there should be no glare of light falling over it. Illumination of the room or working space should be sufficient to avoid strain on the eyes.
One should try to take a pause for at least 15-30 minutes after working on laptop computer for about 1 to 2 hours. During this pause eyes can be closed and covered with both hands to provide relaxation. There are specific exercises of eye muscles. These when done regularly help to strengthen the eye muscles and keep eyes healthy. If possible, an individual can also go out and look far in open space to maintain the far looking power of the eye. Youngsters should be encouraged to play outdoor group games instead of being on laptops for long hours.
A correct diet is important in avoiding health hazards of computers. A balanced diet including fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, healthy milk products and fish, can keep eyes and bones healthy. Thus eye problems and joints pain can be avoided or minimized.
Dr. Rachna Pande
Specialist internal medicine
- SOURCE: OoReporters
The expressions in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ooreporters.com.
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