I am a CS student, so my career requires sitting for long periods of time (8~9) hours infront of a laptop daily. I've been hearing for quite a long time that computers are harmful for health. I'm really concerned with my health but I'm comfortable with this lifestyle.

Is there any proof that computers are harmful and/or they cause serious health problems ? Are there any health problems that are specific to some types of computers that no more exist with modern hardware ?


I'm interested in physical and cognitive/brain problems alike.
Cognitive problems are more important in this case.

Examples of physical problems likely for long-time computer users:

  • Back bending.
  • Eye-sight damage.
  • Less energy consumption problems (because of sitting all day) like sleeping problems.

Examples of cognitive problems likely for long-term for computer users:

  • 1
    I don't have an answer but can share my personal experience. I'm also a CS researcher and I had dry eyes which caused a burning sensation in eyes. I think dry eyes can be with any computer type. It was mainly due to reduced blinking rate. Doctor advised me to take regular breaks, blink at a normal rate and look out of my window to the farthest object I can see. Also, he said that air conditioner promotes drying so advised to keep a bowl of water near my PC. I had to use artificial tears for some time but now the problem is gone. I'm also looking for a good answer to your question.
    – Ruchir
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 9:21
  • 5
    @Ruchir - Please avoid pseudo answers in comments. Comments are intended for refining and clarifying questions or answers. Thank you! :)
    – JohnP
    Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 15:10
  • annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2091327 Commented Jul 22, 2015 at 16:55
  • Perhaps it would help if you specified what you heard. To list every possible health risk and give evidence that would either prove or refute it, would make quite a long answer. Also, just to search for such evidence (if you wanted a list of only "confirmed" health risks) would make a very long and extensive search. Is there a particular health risk (group of risks) that you are interested in?
    – Lucky
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 1:28
  • 1
    @JohnP thanks for the guideline. I'll avoid such kind of comments in the future :)
    – Ruchir
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 2:26

2 Answers 2


Like all things too much of anything is bad for you. As a designer working in the tech industry for over a decade, here's a few things I experienced and that might (I hope not) impact you.

  • wrists from over use of keyboard and mouse
  • circulation problems from being seated for too long
  • eye sight
  • posture problems
  • social effects of not going out and socializing but using social media to socialize (which isnt really socializing)


  1. (study on carpal tunnel syndrome- wrists) http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=196717
  2. (computer vision syndrome) http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/computer-vision-syndrome
  3. (American Optometric Association) http://www.aoa.org/Documents/optometrists/effects-of-computer-use.pdf
  4. (sitting & posture) https://www.washingtonpost.com/apps/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/
  5. (social interaction) https://www.elon.edu/docs/e-web/academics/communications/research/vol6no1/02DragoEJSpring15.pdf
  • 2
    Hi and welcome. Please note that this is not the average SE site. Here, sources which support answers are required, even if the answer has some correct information; otherwise it's opinion, not based on evidence. The site tour and help section will provide more information about the site, as will a quick look at the top voted answers and at meta. Again, welcome. Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 8:01
  • 1
    @anongoodnurse glad to hear we require sources now! Took a hiatus, but I'm back and excited to contribute.
    – Dave Liu
    Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 3:57
  • @DaveL - it's always a pleasure to remove a post notice. Thanks for your contributions! Commented Nov 24, 2015 at 5:09

Mainly, these are the most prominent:

Eye Strain: Dryness, Irritation, Blurred vision, Headaches

Musculoskeletal Problems: Neck pain,Back pain,Shoulder pain,Repetitive strain injuries

Sedentary Lifestyle: Obesity and Cardiovascular diseases

Mental Health Issues: Stress, Anxiety, Depression

Sleep Disruptions: Insomnia, Poor sleep quality

I will say that mental health problems are the most dangerous. Children today do not go outside to play. Todlers do not even eat without an iPad or laptop. We socialize through computers.

Eye Strain (Computer Vision Syndrome) 1:

Reference: Sheppard, A. L., & Wolffsohn, J. S. (2018). Digital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and amelioration. BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 3(1), e000146.

Link: https://bmjophth.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000146

Musculoskeletal Problems:

Reference: Waersted, M., Hanvold, T. N., & Veiersted, K. B. (2010). Computer work and musculoskeletal disorders of the neck and upper extremity: A systematic review. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 11, 79.

Link: https://bmcmusculoskeletdisord.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2474-11-79

Reference: Gerr, F., Marcus, M., Ensor, C., Kleinbaum, D., Cohen, S., Edwards, A., Gentry, E., Ortiz, D. J., & Monteilh, C. (2002). A prospective study of computer users: II. Postural risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms and disorders. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 41(4), 236-249.

Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajim.10066

Reference: Griffiths, K. L., Mackey, M. G., Adamson, B. J. S. (2007). The impact of a computerized work environment on professional occupational groups and behavioral and physiological risk factors for musculoskeletal symptoms: A literature review. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 17, 743-765.

Link: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10926-007-9096-5

Sedentary Lifestyle:

Reference: Owen, N., Sparling, P. B., Healy, G. N., Dunstan, D. W., & Matthews, C. E. (2010). Sedentary behavior: emerging evidence for a new health risk. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 85(12), 1138-1141.

Link: https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)60723-7/fulltext

Mental Health Issues:

Reference: Taris, T. W., Kalimo, R., & De Boer, E. (2002). Ethnic differences in computer use-related psychosocial stress among white-collar employees in Finland. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 11(2), 183-196.

Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13594320244000166

Sleep Disruptions:

Reference: Chang, A. M., Aeschbach, D., Duffy, J. F., & Czeisler, C. A. (2015). Evening use of light-emitting eReaders negatively affects sleep, circadian timing, and next-morning alertness. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112(4), 1232-1237.

Link: https://www.pnas.org/content/112/4/1232

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