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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 ?

Clarification

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:

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    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 Jul 22 '15 at 9:21
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    @Ruchir - Please avoid pseudo answers in comments. Comments are intended for refining and clarifying questions or answers. Thank you! :) – JohnP Jul 22 '15 at 15:10
  • 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 Jul 23 '15 at 1:28
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    @JohnP thanks for the guideline. I'll avoid such kind of comments in the future :) – Ruchir Jul 23 '15 at 2:26
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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)

Sources:

  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
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    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. – anongoodnurse Nov 23 '15 at 8:01
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    @anongoodnurse glad to hear we require sources now! Took a hiatus, but I'm back and excited to contribute. – Dave Liu Nov 24 '15 at 3:57
  • @DaveL - it's always a pleasure to remove a post notice. Thanks for your contributions! – anongoodnurse Nov 24 '15 at 5:09

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