We’ve discussed computer use for ourselves, but how about our children? We need to see to it that they are taking care of their bodies as they use technology as well. The earlier good habits are developed, the better.
Stop a moment to notice what you are doing with the mouse right now as you read. Are you gripping it for dear life? Do you actually need to be holding the mouse at all? As you move the mouse around, are you putting tension in your shoulders, arms, or hand? How about when you click—are you using the minimum amount of energy necessary, or are you pounding on it? Where is the mouse—are you having to reach to use it?
Repetitive Strain Injury has become a common disorder since the advent of the computer. We can type so much more quickly on a computer keyboard than we could on a typewriter. That means that we are requiring our hands to do considerably more work in the same eight hours a day than we used to.
Today almost all of us love the things technology can do for us. It can help us find the information we need, entertain us, or connect us to anyone in the world. What we don’t love so much is the way we often feel after we have spent time in front of our laptop, tablet or cell phone. Many common complaints today can be traced back to our use of technology: Pain and fatigue in the muscles and joints, nerve injuries, high blood pressure, decreased muscle strength, and muscle swelling have all been associated with long periods of computer use. New terms have even been coined recently to describe some of this. You’ve probably heard of “text neck” or “text thumbs.”