Do not forget to blink: how to protect your health when working with PC and smartphone

Millions of years of evolution have not prepared our bodies for the trials that have befallen them in recent decades. The human body has not yet had time to adapt to the specific load of the information age, and the constant “online” is a great stress for it. How to help him without losing precious working hours, tell the experts of the Roskatchestvo Digital Expertise Center, who know firsthand what it means to work long hours at the computer, alternating with the constant glow of the smartphone screen.


Harm or benefit?

But not only IT-specialists today have their work closely related to the computer. Many of us sit through an 8-hour workday in front of a monitor. During breaks and on the road the same thing happens, only the eyes are focused on the screen of a smartphone or tablet, “resting” from the radiation of the monitor. Every such active user has, at least once, thought about how much damage his behavior causes his body, at least when his eyes and back were already beginning to hurt.

Let’s separate rumors from facts at once. Remember how it was once seriously discussed that computers make young people infertile in the long run, and cacti were placed near monitors to “absorb radiation”? On the other hand, monitors were of a different design in the 90s, much has technically changed since then. Let’s break down what happens to active gadget and PC users, and what health protection measures are relevant today.

Sight damage from using a computer

The human eye by its very structure is not designed to withstand the specific visual stresses that occur with constant work at the monitor. The constant fixation of eyesight on the screen, accompanied by a sharp decrease

Blinking too frequently causes the tear film that protects the cornea to dry out. With prolonged computer use which is quite typical for office workers , it leads to a specific set of symptoms known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”, which may develop into “Dry Eye Syndrome” because of which sysadmins were once called “red-eyes” .

The syndrome occurs after several hours of continuous interaction with the monitor and includes:

1. Loss of visual acuity, blurred vision, blurred contours of objects

2. Eye fatigue, in which it is difficult to move the gaze from near objects to distant objects and back

3. Headache, blurred images, burning sensation in the eyes, feeling as if sand has been poured into them, pain when moving the eyes.

In the future, it can lead to chronic headaches, the development of persistent myopia, and permanent problems with the accommodation of vision.

How to minimize damage to the eyes from the computer? Check right now if you are sitting correctly.

Development of eye problems will first of all affect those who are in the risk group: those who already have bad eyesight and weak vessels VAS .

– Properly light your workplace. Headaches are often caused by improper lighting of the workplace, glare on the monitor. Place the monitor so that natural light falls from the side – mostly to the left. Window openings should be equipped with blinds and curtains. At the same time, it is also harmful to work with a computer in semi-darkness without additional light besides the light of the monitor itself.

– Don’t forget to blink in the flicker of the monitor we tend to tense up and forget about this important task . Ideally with

Aim your eyes away from the monitor every 15-20 minutes, and look out the window or at distant objects for 5-10 seconds. Give your eyes a 15-minute rest after every hour of activity. Make sure you rest your eyes during your lunch break, and don’t “stare” at the screen.

– Watch the position your body takes when you sit at the computer. Poor posture leads to tightness of the neck muscles and worsens vascular problems, which in turn affects vision and headaches.

– Check the distance between your eyes and the computer monitor, it should be about 70 cm this is the length of your outstretched arm . It is desirable that the center of the monitor is either at the level of your eyes or slightly lower the essence is to keep the neck straight, without unnecessary muscle tension .

– Adjust your chair so that your back rests lightly on its back.

– Pay attention to your elbows – they should be bent at an angle of 90 degrees, and your wrists should lie comfortably on the table. Your body should be 20cm away from your keyboard.

– Be sure to alternate your computer work sessions with walks, exercises and calisthenics. Use properly fitting glasses if you already have poor eyesight.

– Consult an ophthalmologist and do eye exercises and do them every hour you work at the computer.

If you follow all these rules, the damage from frequent computer use will be minimized, but violating even one of them can negatively affect your health.

The nearest enemy: what harm do smartphones, which many do not let out of sight for hours?

Opinions vary on what harm smartphones do to the body, some of which have been confirmed in animal studies. For example, one claims that light from smartphones leads to degenerative changes in the retina and brain activity. But, alas, there is no general conclusion yet.

“The main danger of gadgets is that the harm from their frequent use comes unnoticed. And it is mainly the important areas and organs that suffer: the neck stress when you bend over while watching the screen , the wrists tunnel syndrome , vision, the brain, which has almost no rest, sleep disorders, personality and psychoemotional disorders – addiction, withdrawal into the virtual world. Modern gadgets allow you to monitor screen time and set time limits on the use of applications. Look at the world with your eyes, not the screens of gadgets,” emphasizes Yulia Ozdemir, doctor of osteopractic medicine, a specialist in wellness.

The average consumer uses a smartphone for 2.5 hours a day. This is enough to cause damage to the body in the form of blurred vision, negative psychological effects and sleep disturbance. Our children are in the risk zone: starting to live with a gadget from childhood, they just don’t know how to switch to another mode and rest. Many children spend their childhood inseparable from gadgets and computers, and this is already a way of life. What kind of world will children build with the clip thinking and reduced duration of attention – questions rather philosophical, we will not touch them. And here is the topic of health.

If we talk only about vision, the most commonly diagnosed in today’s children is myopia nearsightedness , which develops due to prolonged strain on the eyes from a close distance. If before it was only a disease of nerds they went after hours of lessons not to play ball in the yard, and read books and study on the computer , but today almost all children are “stuck” in phones, which means that all of them are at risk in equal measure.

Recommendations for smartphone use, which will help both children and adults, to keep their health.

– Don’t hold the phone close to your eyes. You shouldn’t read from a mobile device in bad light and with the wrong head tilt. For reading in general, it is better to use “readers” with electronic paper.

– Try not to use a smartphone during breaks, let your eyes rest. Instead of watching social networks or episodes of your favorite TV series, have tea with your colleagues, or go for a walk.

– Don’t use your smartphone before bedtime. The blue light emitted by gadgets with a wavelength of about 450-480 nm causes a sense of alertness and affects our biological clock. It is detrimental to the production of melatonin, the “darkness hormone” in the body. Over time, this disorder can become dangerous and even cause chronic insomnia, depression, bipolar disorder and neuroses, if a 2018 study by The Lancet Psychiatry is to be believed. Set a digital curfew before bedtime it’s best to give up gadgets and the monitor 2 hours before bedtime and don’t keep your smartphone next to your bed so you’re not tempted to break that rule.

– Remember that a smartphone is not a rest from the computer, but an additional load for the eyes and brain. Constant use of smart phones to relax and unwind, flipping through social networks and news feeds, the anxious feeling when the phone is not at hand – a mobile addiction. It is recommended to periodically give yourself at least a day off from the phone, to calm the nerves and give discharge to the body.

Rules for children

Frequent use of computer and smartphone in the case of a young growing body and children now “settle” in smartphones from the first grade can have serious negative consequences.

According to the methodical recommendations, SanPiN 2.2.2/2.4.1340-03 “Hygienic requirements for personal electronic computers

machines and the organization of work”, the time of continuous work with a computer monitor should not be exceeded:

– For 1st graders 6 years – 10 minutes.

– For students in grades 2-5, 15 minutes.

– For students in grades 6-7 – 20 minutes.

– For students in grades 8-9 – 25 minutes.

– For students in grades 10-11, the first hour of class is 30 minutes and the second hour is 20 minutes.

For students in grades 9-11, the basics of computer science and computer technology should be no more than 2 lessons per week, and for other grades, 1 lesson per week using a computer. In preschools the duration of classes with educational computer game programs for children 5 years should not exceed 7 minutes and for children 6 years – 10 minutes. You should perform eye exercises after classes. It is not recommended to play computer games 1 hour before bedtime.

These recommendations are about the maximum allowable parameters for school education, but they were made at a time when there were no smartphones.

“You can count by yourself how many dozens times your child violates sanitary rules and harms his body. Of course, reality has changed today, and it’s hard to imagine their literal observance. But our bodies have remained the same and constant “online” is an overload for them. Observe protective measures and learn to use electronic devices safely,” warns Ilya Loevsky, deputy head of Roskatchestvo

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