Tuesday, 09 Jun, 2009 Health & Fitness

The Number of Computer-related Injuries Continuously Increases


Among the most often registered injuries linked with computer use are back pain, blurred vision, as well as mouse-related injuries, all of them being long-term injuries. But the number of acute computer-related injuries considerably increases.

Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in cooperation with specialists from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, recently presented their study in which their found that the number of computer-related injuries increased by at least eight times.

Here is just a short list of most common reasons for computer-related injuries:

- tripping over computer equipment;

- falling over computer equipment;

- hitting against computer equipment;

- straining of muscles or joints.

The monitor was the tool most often associated with these injuries.

The results of the study are available in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database presented figures showing more than 78,000 counts of severe computer-related injuries that were treated by U.S. emergency departments in the period between 1994 and 2006. The data shows that nearly 93 percent of all injuries took place at home. Over a 13-year research period the figure showing computer-related injuries registered a 732 percent increase.

Here are some statistics:

- in 1994 there were 11.4 percent of monitor-related injuries;

- in 2003 the figure reached 37.1 percent;

- in 2006 the numbers decreased down to 25.1 percent.

The reason for the decrease in the number of monitor-related injuries was that a lot of people switched to lighter and more compact LCD monitors, reports The Guardian.

The highest number of injuries was registered among children aged 5 (43.4 percent). Most accidents happened as a result of tripping or falling over computer equipment. The second age group that registered a high number of computer-related injuries are people aged 60 and up (37.7 percent). But the majority of people received head injuries: kids <5 years - 75.8 percent; kids <10 years 57.4 percent; people aged 50 and up 61.8 percent.

Commenting of the results of the study Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, MA, Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy, Columbus, said: "More information is needed on the types of computers and equipment used, the layout of these systems, and the furniture utilized in order to develop household-safety practices in this area… Greater efforts are needed to prevent such injuries, especially among young children."

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