Accepted 30 September 2011
By keeping in view the ISO standards which emphasize the assessment of use of a product, this research aims to assess the prolonged use of computers and their effects on human health. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between extent of computer use (per day) and carpal tunnel syndrome, computer stress syndrome, computer vision syndrome and musculoskeletal problems. The second objective was to investigate the extent of simultaneous occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, computer vision syndrome and musculoskeletal disorders among computer users. The sample in this exploratory study consisted of 120 employees and students. Self administered questionnaire was used as an instrument in this field survey study. The findings confirmed that computer related health disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, computer vision syndrome and musculoskeletal disorders occur simultaneously among prolonged computer users such as employees and students. The simultaneous occurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, computer vision syndrome and musculoskeletal disorders is more among employees than students and those who are both employees and students. Employees who use computer daily for more than four hours are more likely subjected to the risks of all these four health disorders. The study concludes that by observing some rules of using computer, minimizing and treating of these disorders are possible. Keywords: Computer, Prolonged use, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Computer Vision Syndrome, Health Disorders, Employees, Students. Abbreviations: Electromagnetic Field (EMF), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Life Cycle Inventory (LCI). INTRODUCTION Contemporary technology revolution has made our lives with so much convenient that people would hardly imagine life without computer, internet, cable TV, cellular phones, various tools and gadgets. Computers are one of the main tools in businesses, educational institutes, offices, homes and even in cars. On one hand, these technologies including computers have made lives so much easy but on the other hand have created many risks for human health. The negative risks associated with the usage of these technologies are increasing with their growing demand day by day. Every electronic device including computers and laptops produce a form of Electromagnetic Field (EMF). This EMF is actually a non ionizing radiation which release energy from these electronic devices that is not enough to ionize the atoms, hence instead of removing electrons it only excites the electrons. This energy brings negative effects to human health. By using computers, laptops or even sitting in computerized workplaces an individual is exposed to the dangerous waves. These radiations may cause rapidly or slowly several health hazards. It means that individuals especially employees spending number of hours for working on computer are directly exposed to the harmful effects of EMF. ISO quality standards emphasize the need of measuring the quality of products throughout its life cycle i.e. from raw materials to disposal. The purpose is to produce safe environment and its components by examining the impacts of products on it. Thus, it is necessary to examine the direct or indirect effects of computers on human health because the world at this time is heavily
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E. J. Bus. Manage. Econ.
Fig 1: Life Cycle Impact Assessment Approach
dependent upon computers and it is human beings that use computers. Therefore, this study has made an attempt to investigate the reported health disorders among individuals working at computerized workplaces as a result of prolonged computer use. By conducting a field survey, computer users were asked to highlight health disorders they are facing due to extensive use of computers. The scheme of study is as follows: After...