Avoiding Health Ailments Specific to Online Learners

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Posted on February 8th, 2011

As an online learner you are going to spend a lot more time at a computer than most students. While working from home on your own computer can be great, it is important to recognize the risks prolonged sessions in front of a computer may pose to your health. Sitting at a computer for extended periods of time on a regular basis can cause musculoskeletal ailments, eyestrain, and insomnia. This all sounds pretty scary, but don’t worry. It is all easily avoided.

As you sit and stare at your computer screen right now, are your legs crossed? Are you hunching over your keyboard or looking up at the screen? All of these positions cause undue strain on your muscles. To avoid this discomfort, sit with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent at a ninety degree angle. Be sure to adjust your monitor so that you are looking down at it, in order to avoid painful neck stress. Most importantly, get up and move around regularly to stretch out your upper body and give your muscles some relief.

Eyestrain can be a problem for people who stare at computers for extended periods of time. As online students, not only is your class time spent looking at a computer screen, but it is likely that your reading assignments and tests are performed at a computer as well. This can put an abnormal amount of strain on your eyes. Some symptoms of eyestrain are sore, tired, or watery eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and sensitivity to light. To avoid these eye issues, take eye breaks regularly by looking away from your monitor at an object at least ten feet away. Also, try working with larger font sizes or printing assignments out before reading them.

Computer induced insomnia is another possible issue for online learners. The light emitted from a computer screen sends signals to your brain, telling it to stay awake and alert. Staring at a bright computer screen right before you go to bed can make it nearly impossible to fall asleep. Be sure to turn off your computer at least thirty minutes before you attempt to go to sleep, so that your brain has time to relax.

While computer related ailments are serious, they are also easily avoided. Be aware of the symptoms and causes of these health problems and you will better be able to adjust your computer use for your benefit.

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