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Common Medical Conditions Affecting Programmers

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Medical Conditions Affecting Programmers

The world of programming is full of exciting opportunities and epoch breaking inventions. However in the process of providing solutions to everyday technological problems, programmers often tend to be victims of a couple of medical conditions. These are often the product of endless hours of sitting before the computer, coding, which could lead to wrong posture in sitting or cause adverse health problems to other parts of the body. Some of these medical conditions associated with programmers and programming include:

1. Anxiety and Stress:

This occurs due to the pressure to meet deadlines and targets given to most programmers by their clients or company. The resultant effect is that they work for endless hours, non-stop in a bid to meet up with their target. This often causes depression and anxiety in many, leading to a breakdown in their health and even personal relationships with others.
This stress can also lead to suicidal thoughts, due to inability to meet set goals of the clients by the programmers. It can also cause increase in the blood pressure of the programmers.
In order to minimize anxiety & stress, the following practices should be carried out by the programmer in the course of work:
a. Exercise as often as possible. This helps to greatly reduce stress. Even game activities like football, badminton, cricket etc. greatly helps in reducing stress. In addition, it is best to engage in these activities with a group of persons than singly as an individual, as this helps relax the mind and body.

b. Try to finish all your office work and in the case of leftovers, book them for the next day’s work schedule. Avoid carrying office work home, limit office work to work place only.

c. Spend more time with family members when at home or try to take up a hobby. Avoid spending much time on the internet when with your family.

2. Lower Back Pain:
This is often the most common problem suffered by most programmers. It is a common medical condition that affects programmers as a result of wrong sitting posture and not giving room gfor frequent breaks in between the work.
This stems from the fact that most programmers spend more than 8 hours in front of their computer, causing great stress on their body joints and back cartilages leading to back pain. Eventually, the persistent stress and strain on the ligaments and bones brings about certain structural changes in the back bone. The end result is a chronic persistent back pain.
The solution to this problem is to practice right posture while sitting in front of the computer. This right posture helps to reduce the weight on the bones and ligaments.

3. Heart Diseases:

It has been shown overtime that prolonged sitting for long periods of time can lead to certain medical conditions, including obesity, increased blood pressure and cardiovascular disease as well as cancer.
However to prevent cardiovascular diseases, the following should be ensured:

a. Try to go for a short work around the office, so you can take short breaks.

b. Ensure you avoid sitting for prolonged hours, try to get up once every 15 to 20 minutes.

c. Ty to indulge in a good exercise program.

4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome(CTS):
This condition occurs when the nerve known as median nerve, which passes through the wrist, gets compressed, due to constant but restricted movement of the wrist joint. This leads to tendon inflammation and is often the product of repetitive work such as uninterrupted typing on the computer. The resultant effect of this tendon inflammation can cause repetitive stress injuries known as carpel tunnel symptoms.
Some of the symptoms associated with this syndrome include:
a. Decreased grip strength which leads to frequent dropping of objects from the hand.

b. Sometimes, sharp shooting pains can be felt in the forearm.

c. The person may experience sleepless nights and pain is worse at night.

d. Also, the person may experience burning sensations as well.

e. There can also be numbness and tingling of the hand, thumb, index, middle, and thumb side of the ring fingers.

The following actions should be employed in a bid to prevent CTS, when using your computer as a programmer.
a. Ensure your take short breaks during typing. Avoid sitting for long endless hours, so as tom exercise the joints of your hand.

b. Engage in frequent stretching and bending of wrists. This helps to reduce pain and stiffness and loosens up the tight tissues and improves blood flow.

c. Try to keep your keyboard at a height where the elbow is 90 degrees to the table. Keep your arms rested on the arm rest with forearms parallel to the ground.

d. Ensure you adjust the position of your keyboard as well so that it is comfortable to type.

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