This page deals with computer health and safety issues of online learning. In particular it demonstrates the need for a well designed computer workstation (with an ergonomic chair and ergonomic computer desk) and the need for a healthy work schedule.
There are several well-known health issues associated with working at a computer and hence with studying online. In particular, it is known that working at a computer can result in the following health issues:
- Eye strain: Working at a screen causes you to stare more intently at a small area than you would under other circumstances.
- Upper limb disorders: These are sometimes referred to as RSI (repetitive strain injury).
- Headaches: Some people report headaches after working at a screen for a long period.
(Taken from the Open University UK online course “Living with the internet: learning online” that deals with health issues.)
And to make your online learning really healthy, here are more tips to alleviate many of the health issues.
Take frequent breaks
Two to three short rest breaks per hour will allow your musculoskeletal system to recover from periods of the repetitive work.
Chair and desk are the right height
Lower back pain often results from sitting in a fixed or bad posture for long periods of time. Health issues of this sort can be caused by having a seat that forces you to work with your feet unsupported or encourages you to move forward in the chair. Make sure your chair and desk are the right height – your lower arms should be roughly horizontal and your feet flat on the floor. A well-designed ergonomic chair allows you to move freely and change posture throughout the day. It should have the necessary adjustments to fit your body’s dimensions and hence minimize these health issues.
Monitor arranged appropriately
A few simple tips can help you to avoid the health issues often caused by monitors. Arrange your monitor to avoid bright reflections on the screen and also so that you are not staring into a sunlit window. In general, try to keep the brightness and contrast as low as possible to suit you and the lighting conditions. The computer monitor should be separate from the CPU and mounted on an adjustable monitor support. It should be situated so that the top line of text on the monitor is positioned just below eye level.
Use the keyboard and mouse correctly
One of the common, but avoidable, health issues of working at a keyboard for extended periods of time is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). To avoid it the keyboard should be positioned just above thigh level and angled away from you. This straightens your wrists. Consider using an ergonomic keynboard.
The mouse should be positioned as close to the keyboard as possible. Do not grip the mouse too tightly, and rest your fingers lightly on the buttons. Again, an ergonomic mouse can help.
Computer health and safety issues: Lighting
Poor lighting can cause health issues ranging from headaches to neck and back pain. If you are typing from a document, you need better lighting on it than you do for the monitor. Rather than have bright room lights, use a positionable light on the desktop so that you put the light where you need it most.
Though much of the advice above applies to laptop use, the positioning of the keyboard relative to the screen is more of a problem. The following video gives some advice.
List of online schools and programs
- Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
- Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership - Organizational Leadership
- Master of Business Administration - Leadership
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Teacher Leader
- And more...
- Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
- Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
- About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
- Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
- Graduate Certificate in Project Management
- Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
- B.S. in Human Services / Human Services Management
- And more...
- Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
- As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
- International Business - D.B.A.
- Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
- MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
- And more...
- Top-ranked online MBA
- As few as 24 months to complete
- GMAT waivers for experienced professionals
- Bachelor’s degree required
- Six concentrations available
- AACSB accredited
- Master of Business Adminitration (MBA)
Study for your graduate education with University of Illinois at Chicago. We offer master’s degree and post-master’s certificate programs in health informatics that can be completed 100% online.
- Master of Science in Health Informatics
At SNHU, we believe everyone should have greater access to higher education. That’s why we offer over 200 accredited degree programs, flexible class schedules, and some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. We offer military tuition discounts up to 30% toward online undergraduate and graduate degree programs for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
- BA Psychology - Child & Adolescent Development
- MBA with concentration in Quantitative Analysis
- MS in Criminal Justice: Advanced Counterterrorism
- And more...
Simmons University’s online Master of Social Work program can be completed in as few as 15 months, and GRE scores are not required.
- Master of Social Work
The online Master of Science in Data Science from the University of Denver Ritchie School prepares students to build the tools that collect data and use evaluation strategies to make critical business, research, and policy decisions. The program is designed for students of all academic backgrounds and offers four bridge courses to provide them with the programming skills they need to start classes. A bachelor’s degree is required to apply.
- Master's in Data Science
Designed by RNs for RNs
Chamberlain’s RN to BSN option offers convenient 100% online coursework, no mandatory login times and no campus visits. This flexible framework allows you to continue in your current role while you pursue your degree. And, because the curriculum is developed and taught by RNs who are also educators, you know you are learning what you need to push your skills forward now – and in the future.
Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended Chamberlain University can be found at http://chamberlain.edu/ge
- RN to BSN Online Option
As a leader in education, Regis is dedicated to offering programs with a holistic view of health services that are designed for the future of the field. Through cutting-edge coursework, industry-active faculty members, and an array of majors and graduate programs, Regis has been able to positively impact the educational community, health services landscape, and personal lives of students nationwide.
- Online Master of Social Work
- Online Master of Public Health - Epidemiology Concentration
- Online Master of Public Health
- And more...