Sunday, November 19, 2006

Radiate Elsewhere

You Clonker!
The radiation that’s measured from computers monitors comes only from parts inside the Cathode-Ray Tubes (CRT), the huge, heavy, clonker type of monitors. And scientists are still debating on how much out radiation emission from computer monitors actually effect our health. I wish they would decide soon, in the mean time...


I know it’s hard to stay away from the computer, but as a precaution, we should limit ourselves if we can. Buying glass or metallic-net filters will help suppress electromagnetic radiation. Oh, and you know what I didn’t know before? It’s the back and sides of the computer that gives stronger emission fields, than the front. Go figure.

It's not that bad!
Not to scare you anyone too much. You’ll get more radiation from cancer booths, er, I mean Tanning booths, than computer monitors. And the way the rate of liquid-crystal diode (LCD) is selling, CRTs might be a thing in the past, along with any radiation concerns.

Radiating Computers

I think, there’s no reason to be on the computer if you’re not online.
The internet is an amazing tool, don’t you agree? BUT…

You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder about Radiation; electromagnetic radiation to be specific. It’s that same thing coming out of your microwave, cell phones and yep, computers, the monitors to be exact. Honestly, I never thought about it while I’m surfing for hours at a time.

Ultraviolet radiation of monitors was compared with UV emission of sterilamps and fluorescent lamps and the same order of radiation intensity was found in all sources, says
this study.

Distance is a good thing
Sit back. It seems that EM fields generated by computer monitors are not harmful to computer operators if the distance is kept in safe limits. It was also observed that screen filters help if you’re 30 cm close while being 50 cm should be safe.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A good Night’s Sleep

8 hours of sleep
The 2005 Sleep in America Poll conducted by the
National Sleep Foundation revealed that the percentage of adults who claim to be getting eight or nine hours of sleep a night on weekdays has decreased, with 26 percent this year, down from 38 percent in 2001. They didn’t survey me, but if they did, I would add to the decrease.

Artificial light
Board certified in sleep medicine, Dr. James C. O’Brien says “Circadian Rhythm disturbances caused by excessive artificial light exposure from computer screens prevent normal melatonin release in the evening hours. We already knew that from the last post, but the President of
TalkAboutSleep, Inc adds that this would otherwise enable an individual to begin to feel just how tired they really are.

Keeping you up
But that isn’t the only cause; going back to
my first post, Internet Addiction Disorder can keep you up at night, the worrying of someone outbidding you on eBay, the scores for your latest gamble, or just the compulsive of web-surfing does it all too.

Limit it
The best way would just be to
limit your use and/or get some help and get a good night's sleep!

Get Some Sleep!

The other night, I had trouble falling asleep. The University of Maryland Medical center listed some causes of Insomnia. At first I thought it was the gastro-esophageal reflux, heartburn, or maybe it was the Starbucks, but than I see excessive computer use. And that got me thinking. Can we lose sleep because of the internet?

I try to get some sleep, but almost every night, the last thing I’m at before I go to bed, is my computer. (I just don’t want to get off!) So I always wondered if all the computer light (especially from CRTs), rich-media and flashing lights ever did anything more than give me eye-strain.

“A Japanese study found that
performing exciting tasks on computers with bright monitors at night reduces the concentration of melatonin and influences the human biological clock, interfering with sleep”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, this article, ‘Scientists Finding Out What Losing Sleep Does to a Body’ goes beyond the average tired morning we’ve all experienced. It says that losing sleep can cause obesity, blood pressure and even cancer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Upcoming and Expected Stress

The Internet sure stresses me out sometimes. Want to know how?

Nasty Plagues - Let’s talk about them, and how they can infect almost any computer using the internet with spy ware, viruses and hackers. Is there anything more frustrating than trying to use the web but can’t, because of some virus that’s re-directing your pages, or even worst, not letting you turn on your computer at all. Your computer should already come with a firewall, and try any of these sites for further protection.

Web Searches - I like to think that I’m computer savvy enough, so my biggest stress-producing problem using the internet is web searches. With the web pool just surpassing the 100 million site mark, it’s only getting harder to find things. Trying to find information on any particular thing is a skill I need work on. MSN says the 'Top four problems searching the Web' are:

  • Misspelled or differently spelled words
  • Too little information
  • Different synonyms
  • Common or nondescriptive words

Online shopping – It’s one problem I recently faced. It’s the patient and turmoil in waiting for my order to arrive that brings anxiety, false hope and yes stress to my online use. I could have easily gone Target and get that stupid ‘Click’ DVD myself. Especially with holiday shopping coming up, its definitely going to be stressful finding that great deal online that perfect gift for you friends and family. Try 'Tips for coping with holiday stress.'

Working Stress

Stress affects your daily activity, communication and health. Stress causes sickness. Probably the most common form of stress is our jobs.

Two-thirds of workers reported that they have some kind of physical problems because of job-related stress and exertion. Especially jobs in computer utilizing fields, such as technical support and/or customer service can burn out by repetitive routine requests, and frustrated customers. Try 'Stress Management Tips for Customer Service Professionals.'

Poisoned chalice.” It’s a stretch yes, but that’s one way of describing how the Internet causes Antarctic stress. "The social dynamic is changing out there because of the increased use of e-mail, web cameras, internet chat rooms and online shopping," says head of British Antarctic personnel Fiona Brazil.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Don't Want to Be Sad

Declining - Heavy Internet users reported increases in loneliness and depression and saw the size of their social networks decline over time, according to Robert Kraut’s findings. I guess that means that the more time I spend sitting here writing this blog for class, the less time I am spend interacting, say with my family and I'm a little sadden by that.

It’s not all bad! - Results varied depending on an individual's life patterns and type of use. Extroverts, who like making new friends, are using new technology to express that,''
Dr. Robert Kraut said. Also, that people who were isolated because of their geography or work shifts might have benefited socially from Internet use.” Such as Third Shifts Workers and users from the middle of nowhere.

Read the entire journal article here.

So Lonely...

Is the Internet making you depressed? I’m afraid so.

Computers make us lonely - “People who spend even a few hours a week online experience higher levels of depression and loneliness than if they used the computer network less frequently”, says researchers at Carnegie Mellon University.

Depression scale - Researchers found that one hour a week on the Internet led, on average, to an increase of .03 on a 3 point depression scale!

Communication is Key - Without the face-to-face contact, relationships maintaining over long distances won’t provide the kind of support and reciprocity that we need says the research. And we need something like that, which would add to our sense of psychological security and happiness that we want.


Read the New York Times article here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Danger: Men at Work

Gaining weight from too much computer and online use.

Scary thought isn’t it? Don’t be too alarm.

This applies more to fat, excuse me, potentially overweight, old, i mean older - men at their white-collar offices than anyone else. Men who sit at their desks more than six hours a day are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than those who sit for less than 45 minutes a day on the job says an Australian study.

More time men spent sitting on the job, the more likely they were to be overweight, even after adjusting for age, occupation, and time spent physically active outside the office!

Working as a security guard at
Xerox, I see many employees go for a run during their lunch break. Good for them. But if all the sweat isn’t working for you, a ten-minute walk would be a good start, perhaps around the building. Another thing I’ve notice - everyone feels worthy of their parking spot, sure. But it wouldn’t hurt, in fact, it would help to park further -at work or anywhere!

We Walk the Walk

Everything you do counts
toward the goal of keeping off weight at work.

It’s widely known that more women play the role of secretary than or should I say to men. As much as I love to see this change, this benefits women in one particular way. They spend more time on their feet. Men sat at their desks an average of 20 minutes longer a day than women, which ended up making a big difference in their risk of being overweight researchers say.

So ladies, we’re safe, for now – till than:

Take the stairs, everyone should be doing this. During the arriving/leaving/lunch hour, it’ll be luck if these employees can get an elevator without waiting 5 minute. Wearing a
pedometer one weekend at work, I wanted to see how much walking the job makes me do. 10,000 steps is the goal. I had 7,300, but it sure seemed more... One last tip; do some stretches. It might feel weird at first but soon enough, who knows, your co-workers might follow. And of course, diet.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Slouchers Unite!

Back Pains – They Suck
Anybody who is a frequent user of a computer is at risk of developing neck, shoulder and back problems. Why? Well, we’re just not design to sit around staring at the screen all day.

What’s going on?
The spine doesn't get enough movement and fluid is leached out of the discs, eww. So the discs have no direct blood supply, which is not good.

Buy a ball !
One of many solutions is to buy a ball. Yes, one of those big stinky plastic exercise balls you see at the gym. It reduces the base of support and activates your postural muscles and your balance mechanisms strengthening our core. Basically sitting on a ball would make it harder to slouch when you’re sitting on a ball.

Sloucher for Life

I am a sloucher, I hate standing up straight, let alone sitting up straight. But I am definitely going to experiment with this. You can also get this chair to keep the ball from rolling around your floor for $80 here. It’s a little pricey for me, and it sure would take the fun out of the whole sitting on a ball situation.

This site gives you advice on the size of the ball you should get, as well as exercise tips using the ball.
You’ll have to enter an e-mail address.

Pain in the Neck

We all get neck pains and sometimes a good neck-rotate is all it takes. But when you’re sitting at your computer, you don’t think of ways of preventing the pains until they get there.

Neck Pain often begins gradually, so you feel the discomfort slowly.

Are you moving your neck repeatedly from one thing to another, like document to montior? Is your head at an angle of 15 degrees or greater? (Holding the phone between your neck and shoulder, looking down at your keyboard) All this can cause muscular fatigue, tension and pain.

Here are some prevention/aftercare tips with neck-pains:
  • Neck streching
  • Apply heat or ice to the painful area
  • Position changes and stretches every 30 minutes or so
  • Use good posture and keep your back supported
  • Adjust your computer monitor to eye level so you’re not always looking up or down

I've tired everyone of these tips and they seem to work. Although, a hot shower always does it for me. And you can never go wrong with a massage!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Eye Relief is On the Way!

Right now, there are no known long-term consequences for staring at your computer too long.
But here are some tips to get better eye relaxation:

Eye exercises. Rolling your eyes and than tightly closing it can bring some relief. Also, try blinking often to refresh your eyes. This causes tears that can help moisten and lubricate your eyes. Moisturizing your eyes with eye drops is another way.

Lighting. The contrast of you monitor should be change to avoid glare. Consider buying a glare-reducing screen.

Adjust your screen. 20-28 inches away from your face is about right. Also make sure that the computer screens are clean and streak-free to help stop the squinting.

Here is an excellent website in Tips for Getting Relief. Of course, taking a break from your computer will always help. But If you’re experiencing:
  • Prolonged eye discomfort
  • A noticeable change in vision
  • Double vision

You should see your eye doctor; it can be something more serious.

Your Eye on the Computer

We all do it! You’re doing it fight now.
Staring at your computer screen and possibly hurting your eyes…but you’re still doing it!
You’re inner eye muscles are tightening and they feel strain. You could be overusing you eyes. People who do this also get:

  • headaches
  • sore necks
  • eye fatigue
  • buried vision
  • dry eyes
  • itching eyes
  • burning sense (yikes)

Our eyes aren’t used to staring at something 1 foot away for hours. When looking at something close, your eyes turn inward and your pupil constricts. That and Eye Strain is just plain disruptive and unpleasant.