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Is Your Device Causing You Chronic Pain?

Technology is a funny thing. In many ways it’s made our lives easier, but it’s also brought with it a whole new set of hazards. Quite apart from how it’s changed our social interactions, heavy use of devices such as iPads and tablets can actually harm us. Watch out for these symptoms:

Blurred vision, twitching eyes or headaches 

These are often the result of eyestrain from the glare of the screen. To counteract this, adjust the brightness and contrast settings or invest in a glare-reducing film. Blink often and regularly look past the screen for a few seconds, which gives the focussing muscles in your eyes a break. 

Text neck 

When you spend a lot of time hunched over your device, you put strain on your shoulders, upper back and neck. This can result in pain and/or dizziness. Rather try to position your device at eye level, so you can sit up straight while you’re using it.   

Cellphone elbow or wrist 

This is caused by the weight of your device and/or holding your arm in the same position for a long time. Try placing your device in a docking station or holder, so you don’t have to physically hold it up.   

Texting thumb 

By regularly using the same fingers and/or your thumb to write long messages or play games on your device you run the risk of developing a very common repetitive strain injury. Keep any messages you send from your device short and rather use a computer for prolonged use. Alternatively, try to use the keypad as you would a keyboard, with a few fingers rather than just your thumbs!

As a general rule, take regular breaks from your device, and move around, stretching and shaking out your arms and legs. This helps release the strain on your body and gives your eyes and brain a rest. Then you can get back to work (or play) feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Samantha-Jo Hampton

Marketing Assistant

samh@oakfieldscollege.co.za