Guest Columns

Ergonomics: It pays to pay attention sooner than later!

I have recently developed a nagging pain in my right forearm. My eyes also hurt often,” complained Bhavya, who studied in Grade V to her mom. Worried, her mother consulted friends and colleagues at the office about Bhavya’s niggling problem. One of her friends immediately asked her about the how long Bhavya spent at the computer. She suggested, “The pain you describe is quite possibly related to his continual exposure to the computer and likely to be due to repeated pressure on the wrist and/or elbow.”

Bhavya’s mom instantly related to what her friend had said. Her daughter’s summer vacation had just begun, and she had recently started spending a significant amount of time at the computer, scouting for information for school projects and chatting with friends. She knew she could not simply put an end to computer use, but she wanted Bhavya to observe healthy habits henceforth so as not to face health problems in the future.

Like Bhavya, aren’t we all facing similar issues in this technology savvy world? Consider these numbers: youngsters spend an average of 1h 50m on the Internet, and 2h 40m in front of the television every day. A report released suggests that screens are increasingly turning into electronic babysitters and young people are spending more time plugged in than out. Children spend more time in front of a screen in one day than they undertaking any form of physical activity in the entire week. The latter is expected to see further decrease with the onset of advances in technologically based home entertainment. The result: Physical activities have completely gone for a toss.

Body pains pertaining to such extended usage of machines are not just confined to limbs but back aches and eye strain as well. With the present generation of students exposed to long hours of technology usage, their susceptibility to computer related injuries has also increased. In light of this and as a proactive measure, we need to sensitize students to be aware of these injuries and adopt the necessary measures to prevent themselves from becoming a victim of health disorders from an early age.

The writer is Rupesh Kumar, CEO and Co-Founder, InOpen Technologies.

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