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How The Use of Your Computer May Cause You Serious Injury

By Ameenah Lutfee

Don’t take my word for it, here are some staggering statistics on the use of computers:

1. Costs in direct workers compensation has exceeded a staggering 20 billion thus far.

2. There are over 100 different injuries that can result from repetitive motions which cause wear and tear on the body.

3. Liberty Mutual spend a whopping $50,000,000 yearly on wrist injury claims.

4. The increased use of your computer from 1 to hours a day enhances the risk of your acquiring an injury rise from 45% to 92%.

Over the past 20 years, ergonomic injuries (over exertion and /or repetitive motion) have gained recognition as a major factor in workplace health costs to the United States. With the increased use of computers in both homes and businesses, you and I are in an exceedingly vulnerable position. According to statistics, 50% of U.S. households use the internet, while 23 million adults use a computer everyday. In addition, 89% of teens use computers frequently during the week and over 50% of children use computers in their classrooms. With these statistics, it is clear that computer use is on the rise. One recent study even showed that more than 700 new households are connected to the internet every hour. Far too many computer users are experiencing CTD’s (Cumulative Trauma Disorders). CTD’s are the result of repeated motions, excessive force, vibration, awkward positions and over exertion.

· Here are some CTD’s:

a) Carpal Tunnel Syndrome - Nerve disorder in wrist(s) and hand(s)
b) Tendinitis - Inflammation of a tendon from repeated tensing
c) Tenosynovitis - Compression of the nerve and blood vessel between the neck and shoulder
d) Ulnar Neuritis - A nerve inflammation that results from pressure on the Ulnar Nerve (located between the wrist and the elbow) over time, including leaning the elbow or hard or sharp surface for log periods
e) Thoracic Outlet Syndrome - Compression of the nerves and blood vessels between the neck and shoulder. Symptoms include numbness in the fingers and tingling in the arms.

Now some say computers are both a curse and a blessing, but I’ll let you decide that…. Undoubtedly, computer use has significantly increased productivity and efficiency in all aspects of your life. With the inordinate number of injuries suffered by computer users each day, it’s important that you be aware of Ergonomics. Ergonomics deals with the interrelation between people and machines and their work environment. Ergonomics is all about working smarter and safer. Before you sit down at your "trusted" computer again, for your health's sake, make sure that your work environment is Ergonomically correct!

To Your Health……

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