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Many workspaces have undergone a significant shift from the traditional office setup to more flexible, work-from-home arrangements as a result of the pandemic.

A Forbes article mentioned that an estimated 32.6 million Americans will experience remote work in the United States alone by 2025. The same report found that the Computer and IT industry was the top sector for remote workers in 2023, which means millions of tech professionals are able to enjoy the benefits of a flexible work setup. 

However, IT professionals are no exception to occupational health risks that may arise from the nature of their work. In the absence of a conducive work setup at home, employees in the IT sector can suffer from several health issues.

Poor posture, prolonged computer screen exposure, and minimized physical movements can all contribute to the development of health risks that can cause discomfort and hamper the productivity of stay-at-home IT workers. Below, we take a look at common health issues for IT professionals and how to deal with them.

Eye strain 

Research published by the National Institutes of Health mentioned that the prevalence of digital eye strain among IT professionals was 82.41%, which can be attributed to prolonged computer use and uncomfortable workstations.

Digital eye strain is characterized by ocular symptoms such as dry eyes, blurry and watery vision, and even headaches that result from prolonged exposure to digital devices that emit blue light.

With an excessive amount of time spent staring at computer screens for coding, it’s no surprise that IT professionals often experience eye strain.

To counter this, you can try using blue light glasses with BlueReflect or BlueReflect Plus lenses that prevent blue light from penetrating your eyes. Be sure to also take frequent breaks to avoid ocular discomfort that could affect work productivity.

Back pain

It can be difficult to maintain a proper posture throughout your working hours, especially if you’re trying to fix a network problem or software issue that requires a lot of focus. Poor posture can lead to back pain, which can cause great physical discomfort and even major health concerns in your spine or discs if sharp pain persists.

You can dedicate short breaks for stretching exercises to avoid back or neck pains, or you can also invest in ergonomic furniture like office chairs from IKEA or Staples. An ergonomic chair helps provide comfort and support to your back through adjustable heights and armrests that can be fine-tuned to your desk setup for maximum relief while working.

When you’re working on comfortable ergonomic furniture, you’re able to focus more and become less distracted by back pain, leading to a higher quality of work and reduced errors.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

IT work often involves a lot of typing and mouse movement, especially when debugging or developing software applications. Excessive use of a computer keyboard or mouse can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition wherein the wrist’s median nerve suffers a compression, which can affect hand function.

The constant pressure on the wrist area can cause it to become swollen, leading to hand and wrist pain and numbness.

Mayo Clinic suggests taking short and frequent breaks so you can gently stretch and bend your hands to avoid overworking your wrist area, and you can also try wireless ergonomic mouses from Logitech that let you grip in a natural handshake position to promote ideal wrist posture and prevent muscle strains.

Working in the IT sector can be fulfilling if you’re passionate about tech, but be sure to take care of your overall well-being. Invest in comfortable and protective equipment and take frequent breaks to help you work productively without sacrificing your health.