“Tech Injuries” a Growing Health Concern

A large number of American workers spend their days in an office, sitting at a chair, staring at a computer. While repetitive stress injuries, including carpal tunnel, are a rising source of workers’ compensation claims, there are other “tech injuries” that are becoming a growing health concern for physicians, employees, as well as employers. Tech injuries are not only caused by certain postures we use when hunched over laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, but other strains on the body that could take their toll over the years, and decades.

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According to a 2010 study, children who were looking at screens more than 2 hours per day were 60% more likely to have a psychological problem in later years. Kids between the ages of 11 to 16 who used iPads suffered back pain. Another study found that 84 percent of young persons, aged 18 to 24 suffered back pain, which lost in an average of 1.5 working days lost per year. These are only a few of the myriad injuries that can set in on younger and older users. With more Americans working on computers rather than performing heavy labor activities, workers’ compensation claims are changing as well. Here are some common “tech injuries” reported by American physicians:

Neck and back issues: The World Health Organization has published a study that shows developed countries have a higher incidence of lower back pain, despite a lower rate of manual labor. Spending time hunched over a laptop, or staring into your mobile device while on the train, can have long-effects on your back and neck. With Americans spending an average of 2 to 4 hours per day on a phone, texting and reading emails on a mobile phone can take its toll. Posture problems can have a long-term degenerative effect. Our Asheville workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced with protecting the rights of workers and raising awareness to prevent future injuries.

Eye conditions and strains: The American Optometric Association asserts that 70 percent of computer users suffer from “computer vision syndrome,” a condition marked by burning, dryness, and redness of the eyes. Doctors report that when staring at a screen, we blink 20 percent less, leaving eyes in pain and dehydrated. The screen has also showed an increase in myopia, and other degenerative eye conditions.

Headphones and hearing loss: Many worker will use headphones while at the office. Small ear buds may be exacerbating the problem. Ear buds that fit inside your ear place pressure on the small ear hairs that send sound signals to the brain. To prevent hearing loss, cushion headphones are better and users should limit the amount of time they use headphones, whether on Skype or listening to music.

Depression and mood swings: While we may recognize some of the physical ailments associated with our computer-heavy lifestyles, we may not know of the psychological impact of staring at a computer. Hunching over a laptop is bad for your physical health and bad posture can have an effect on our emotional and chemical well-being. Bad posture can result in reduced serotonin, reduction in confidence, and has been linked to depression.

Contact the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

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