Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 28 Women and Stress in the 1990's Section - Page 1 Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 28 Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 30

Eyestrain Give Us Feedback On This Subject Text Scroll This Chapter Check Out Doctor DeMarco's Recommended Health Products Stress Musculoskeletal Problems

The most common complaints are neck, shoulder or back pain. To prevent strain on these areas, you have to be in a comfortable position at work and have an adjustable work station.

Another frequent complaint is wrist or arm pain. This is caused by repetitive wrist movements while typing at the keyboard. This can result in inflammation of the wrist tendons (tendonitis) or injury to the median nerve in the wrist (carpal tunnel syndrome). Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause numbness or tingling of the fingers and wrist as well as severe wrist pain and weakness of the wrist muscles. Pain in the arm, neck and shoulder all at the same time can be caused by fast paced work with prolonged muscular contraction of the hand and arm.

The Washington State Department of Labour and Industries, according to the VDT NEWS (Sept/Oct/91), forbids VDT workers to type for more than an hour at a stretch and for more than five hours a day, to prevent repetitive strain injuries.

Sitting for long periods of time can also cause fatigue of leg and back muscles and predispose to varicose veins, phlebitis and hemorrhoids.

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that repetitive strain injuries accounted for nearly half of the illnesses reported by U.S. businesses in 1988, and more than 80 percent of the total increase in illness from 1987 through 1988. The 1988 survey included 280,000 businesses and more than 90 million workers (VDT NEWS Jan/Feb/90).

The U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has just completed a study of repetition strain injuries involving 530 employees in three cities reported in the VDT NEWS (Sept/Oct/92). The study confirmed a high rate of injury for VDT workers. The study noted one in five was injured.

Musculoskeletal Problems Give Us Feedback On This Subject Text Scroll This Chapter Check Out Doctor DeMarco's Recommended Health Products Electromagnetic Radiation And Its Effects Stress

NIOSH also studied a group of VDT operators in the San Francisco Blue Cross office and found that they had higher stress levels than any other group of workers, including air traffic controllers.

A 1984 study of telephone staff in North Carolina showed that 20 percent of the women developed angina (chest pain caused by insufficient blood supply to the heart) after working more than four hours at a VDT terminal. This is ten times the normal rate of occurrence of this type of chest pain.

A research team from the University of Bologna found that VDT operators who worked more than four hours a day had higher levels of the stress hormones (catecholamines).

Having no control over your working conditions is extremely stressful. Several studies show that stress related health problems were highest among VDT workers whose work is both paced and monitored by the computer. For example, telephone operators and airline reservation agents are expected to process a certain number of calls per hour and this is strictly monitored by computer. Data entry operators may have their keystrokes per hour monitored. In some work places, women are forbidden to talk during work hours and have to put up their hand if they want to go to the bathroom or get up from their desks.

A recent union management study of Bell Canada operators showed alarming levels of stress related to VDT monitoring. As a result, Bell Canada may soon stop individual monitoring and replace it with office wide monitoring so no individual can be singled out.

Stress symptoms include headache, heartburn, backache, generalized fatigue, depression, anxiety, loss of appetite, insomnia, dizziness and sexual problems. Stress-related illnesses include ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Bob DeMatteo, author of TERMINAL SHOCK (NC Press, 1986), notes in his book that symptoms similar to those caused by stress could also be caused by the very low frequency electromagnetic field emitted by the computer.

Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 28 Women and Stress in the 1990's Section - Page 1 Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 28 Are Computers Hurting Your Health ? - Page 30


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