Study finds more-than-sevenfold increase in computer-related injuries

June 9th, 2009 - 6:06 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 9 (ANI): Hazards of long-term computer use such as back pain, blurred vision and mouse-related injuries are well documented. But now, a new study has revealed that the number of acute injuries connected to computers is also the rise.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital; and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus have found a more-than-sevenfold increase in computer-related injuries due to tripping over computer equipment, head injuries due to computer monitor falls and other physical incidents.

Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database has shown that over 78,000 cases of acute computer-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency departments from 1994 through 2006.

Approximately 93 percent of injuries occurred at home. The number of acute computer-related injuries increased by 732 percent over the 13-year study period, which is more than double the increase in household computer ownership (309 percent).

Injury mechanisms included hitting against or catching on computer equipment; tripping or falling over computer equipment; computer equipment falling on top of the patient; and the straining of muscles or joints.

The computer part most often associated with injuries was the monitor. The percentage of monitor-related cases increased significantly, from 11.6 percent in 1994 to a peak of 37.1 percent in 2003. By 2006, it had decreased to 25.1 percent.

The decrease since 2003 corresponds to the replacement of heavier cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors with smaller and easier-to-lift liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors.

Children aged 5 years or below had the highest injury rate of all age groups, with the most common cause of injury was tripping or falling.

While extreme injuries such as head injury was most common in children aged 10 years or above, with 57.4 percent of them getting injured seriously, the study found.

The study is published in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)

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