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Safety first – Devilish Device

Written by Jennifer Ansell on . Posted in Best Practices

Smartphone demons

More and more people are using their smartphones for music and gaming as well as phone conversations. They’re using them with earbuds and over longer periods of time than if they were just listening to music.  (Harvard University researcher Brian Fligor, Sc.D.) If you have to be plugged into your smartphone for any length of time, swap your earbuds for noise-canceling headsets so you can turn down the volume. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association states hearing loss in the U.S. has doubled in the past 30 years and The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders “estimates that approximately 15 percent (26 million) of Americans between the ages of 20 & 69 have high frequency hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities.”  Once lost your hearing does not come back so get your hearing checked on a regular basis and do everything you can to stifle these demons.

Tablet terrors

Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in your wrists, arms, neck are just some of the long term problems with tablets (and smartphones too).  There’s eye strain and back problems from poor posture as you’re bent over your tablet trying to make out what’s on the screen. Backlit readers are hard on your eyes. Avoid angling your neck forward by more than 15º. If you’re going to be using your tablet a lot for more than reading or watching something, use a peripheral external keyboard and mouse. There are a great many ways to exacerbate an existing condition or create a new strain, pain or ache with tablets. Whatever you do, if your tablet use starts to make you physically uncomfortable, or you’re noticing more aches and pains than usual; go and see your doctor.

Laptop Disasters

Apart from not actually holding your laptop ON your lap for too long to avoid the intense heat most of them give off there are other things to be aware of.  Many of the back problems associated with tablets also apply to laptops. If you’re using your laptop on a crowded rush-hour bus you will, undoubtedly, be hunched over. If you keep that up over time you will suffer the consequences.
Too many people use laptops in inappropriate places. The accidents that follow can either break the laptop or a part of someone’s anatomy or both.  Personally I have seen the damage a laptop can do when dropped on someone’s foot.  Laptops may appear to be light but, in the main, they are not. Be careful when you’re handling them Plugging in your laptop in your hotel room or on the train or in a food court can also be dangerous if you neglect to pay attention to where the wires are.  Take your time when setting up your laptop wherever you are to avoid undue stress and strain and nasty accidents.


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Jennifer Ansell

Jennifer Ansell

After dabbling in computers in her formative years, Jennifer is now up to her neck in IT: “My husband is an IT, his best man is an IT and the man who walked me down the aisle is an IT.” And now she manages an IT office! Let’s hope her gardening and other hobbies are enough to keep her from babbling computer-speak.

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