General, Research, Technology

Why it is harmful to sit at a computer for a long time and how to fix it

I recently conducted a small survey among friendsand friends about how they evaluate their effectiveness in remote work. Almost everyone I know now works from home at a computer and telephone. Moreover, as it turned out, even those who used to travel to cities and countries and negotiate with customers today successfully work at home with no less efficiency (of course, this is not possible in all areas). Another interesting observation was that they now work more. Even in my own example, I see that I began to spend much more time a day at the computer than before. We’ll talk about the reasons some other time, and today let's talk about the consequences of this for the body. Constant work at the computer can lead to many problems, but it is very easy to deal with this, observing simple rules and doing very simple exercises.

Nowhere without a computer, but do not forget about your health


  • 1 Why it is harmful to sit at a computer for a long time
    • 1.1 Eye damage
      • 1.1.1 Eye exercises
    • 1.2 Harm to the spine
      • 1.2.1 Exercises for the spine
    • 1.3 Harm to the hands (tunnel syndrome)
      • 1.3.1 Hand exercises
  • 2 What else could be the harm from sedentary work?

Why it is harmful to sit at a computer for a long time

Screen flicker and small text vibration whenscrolling quite heavily overload the muscles of the eyes and gradually reduce visual acuity. You don’t even notice it, but when working at the computer, the blinking frequency decreases by about 3 times, which, of course, helps to dry the film of tear fluid and causes the “dry eye” syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome - the disease that most often occurs inperson working at the computer. Symptoms of the disease: fatigue, hypersensitivity to light, ripples in the eyes, a feeling of mote in the eye, accompanied by burning, redness and irritation of the eyes

Drying the tear film reduces the sharpness of ourvision at about 0.5 diopters. To avoid this, you need to use special eye drops and not be at the computer for more than 40 minutes in a row, doctors write.

Eye exercises

  • We close our eyes. The eyelids should be relaxed. Then, with effort, we look to the leftmost point (the eyelids are closed). We hold our gaze for 2-3 seconds and move it to the rightmost point. Repeat 10 times. When performing the exercise, the eyelids should be relaxed. This exercise relaxes and strengthens the eye muscles, relieves eye pain.
  • Blink for 1-2 minutes
  • Close with tension alternately left or right eye for 4-5 seconds
  • Blink tightly several times for 8-10 seconds
  • Exercise square: until the stop we look left, right, up, down. We hold our gaze for 10 seconds
  • Rub your palms to make them warm. Cover their eyes, but without tension. In this exercise, it is important that your eyes are at rest and in darkness. Eyes must be closed and stayed in this position for a couple of minutes.
  • Choose a focus point on your nose tip and after 10 seconds look at the subject as far away from you as possible. Do this exercise 8-10 times

Recently, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova wrote an excellent article on the health hazards of reading bad news on the Internet.

Harm to the spine

With long work at the computer in a sittingposition, we constantly load some back muscles and completely not load others. The lack of load leads to their degradation, and since metabolism in the spine occurs precisely with the help of them, it is also disturbed, which leads to osteochondrosis.

Osteochondrosis - degradation (destruction) of the intervertebral discs

Also with constant sedentary work increasesload on the intervertebral discs, which can cause the appearance of a hernia, which in turn causes pain in the limbs, internal organs or headache. For children, this can be even more dangerous, because the spine is not yet strong. If the child sits for a long time, be sure to monitor his posture, otherwise he may develop spinal curvature (scoliosis).

Spine exercises

  • Get up from the table, spread your legs a little. Raise your hands up and on your toes, stretch as much as possible within 5-7 seconds. Then lower your arms down and relax. Repeat the exercise several times.
  • Raise your shoulders as far as possible, then slowly pull back. Hold for 2-3 seconds and push forward as much as you can. Repeat at least 10 times
  • Put your feet shoulder width apart and extend your arms to the side. Turn to the left to the end, then to the right, thus performing the exercise "twisting". Repeat 15-20 times

Harm to the hands (tunnel syndrome)

Constant work with a keyboard or mouse compresses nerves and blood vessels, as a result of which we experience pain and numbness in the hand and fingers

You probably heard about tunnel syndrome. During long work with the keyboard or mouse, the hands begin to hurt, and the fingers swell and cause numbness. The thing is that a prolonged and uniform movement of the hands and fingers leads to frequent microtraumas of the neurovascular bundle and surrounding tissues, due to which the nerve endings are compressed. Because when working at a computer, not the whole arm works, but only individual muscles - they hypertrophy and clamp the nerve. Inside it, blood circulation is disturbed, and we experience pain. The easiest way to avoid tunnel syndrome is to take a break at least every hour for at least 10 minutes and stretch your fingers and hands.

How do you solve the problem of long sedentary work? Share your life hacks in the comments or in the Tele- chat

Hand exercises

  • Extend your arms in front of you and spread your palms inin front of myself. Then strain your palms and wrists and begin to quickly bend one finger after another, starting with the little finger. When you get fists - turn them “face” to each other. In this case, only the wrists should work. After that, unclench your fists, relax and shake your hands. Do the exercise several times.
  • Get up from the table and lower your arms along the body. Take a deep breath and shake your hands as you exhale for 10-15 seconds. Exercise must be done 4-5 times
  • Clasp the fingers of both hands into a “lock”, stretch out your armsforward and turn your palms outward. Hold for 5-7 seconds, after which, without unfastening the “lock”, push your fingers to your chest with a little effort (so that your fingers bend slightly) and hold for 5-7 seconds. Repeat several times, then release your fingers and shake with relaxed hands.
  • Stretch your arms forward and set your arms apartfingers to the side. Tighten your brushes for 5-7 seconds and tightly compress your fingers into the fist for the same amount of time. After that, relax your hands and shake your hands to relieve tension. Do the exercise several times.

What else could be the harm from sedentary work

Do some simple exercises once an hour, your body just needs it

Actually the harm from sedentary work is notends on the arms, eyes and spine. Doctors also note a deterioration in the general physical condition, a violation of the coherence of the motor apparatus. The body's resistance to overheating or hypothermia decreases. People with a sedentary lifestyle may experience apathy, forgetfulness, impaired memory, muscle strength decreases, and insomnia appears. With long sittings, a thermal effect is observed between the stool and the pelvic organ, which leads to stagnation of blood and negatively affects the genitourinary system. A separate point is the violation of the human psyche with constant communication with the computer. This can be especially noticeable in preschool and young children. Pay attention to the state of their irritability after sitting at a computer or walking in the fresh air, and you yourself will understand everything.

Even though we have to be at home during a pandemic, you can still keep fit

Of course, without a computer today is nowhere. With it, we spend and earn money, get to know each other, curse, have fun, buy tickets or just kill time. The main thing is not to forget that the computer can always be changed to a new one, but with health very often such tricks do not work. Take care of yourself, observe basic rules and be healthy!