Computer Workers : Beware Of Chair Diseases

Those who sit long hours before the computers are prone to what is termed as “Chair Diseases” which include pain in the back, neck, wrist and shoulder, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

According to new research from the University of Sydney spearheaded by Karin Griffiths, the increase in use of computers has almost negated the benefits of improved workstation design and posture.

The survey of nearly 1000 workers across six government departments found that about 85 percent of people who spent more than eight hours a day working at a computer experienced neck pain.

The study also found that three-quarters of participants reported shoulder pain and 70 percent reported lower back pain.

”I know the amount of money organisations are putting into improved workstations and ergonomics, and it’s not that those changes aren’t important, but the problem is nearly everything can be done at the desk now – communication, library research, file retrieval, even meetings. It doesn’t matter how good the chair is, it is not going to address the health problem of what some researchers are calling ‘chair disease’,” Griffiths said.

She concluded that long hours of computer work may also contribute to cardiovascular disease,diabetes and obesity, with people in senior or managerial positions hit the hardest because they worked at a computer most.

The study has been published in Work.

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