Tag Archives: computer

Save Your Skin

Today, I’m sharing a heads-up from The Enlightened Mind’s excellent blog.

[Reprinted from The Guardian]

Screen burn: why the glare from your computer could be ageing your skin

Researchers have suggested a week in front of a screen is the same as 25 minutes in the sun. So should you be slapping on the sunblock every morning before sitting down to work?

‘Blue light’ may cause premature ageing, although it is unclear what dose may be required.

‘Blue light’ may cause premature ageing, although it is unclear what dose may be required. Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images

Name: Screen burn.

Age: Me? I’m 17.

No, you never are, you liar! Seventy-one, more like. Look at your skin, all old and leathery like a turtle’s. Seriously, I’m 17.

Then you’ve been spending way too much time out in the midday sun without any factor 50 on. Nope. Spent the whole summer indoors looking into a phone or a laptop, like any normal well-behaved teenager in lockdown. It’s screen burn.

Screen burn! Seriously, is that a thing? Well, that’s what researchers at the consumer-goods multinational Unilever are saying: that a week in front of a digital screen can have the same effect on the skin as 25 minutes in the sun.

A week against 25 minutes … that’s quite a difference. It all adds up as we spend more and more time staring into screens. By “a week” they mean five working days in front of a digital device for more than six hours. It’s the artificial “blue light” these devices emit, apparently – it’s the highest-energy light on the visible spectrum. It does occur naturally, but people often get more from a screen.

And what does this “blue light” do? Penetrates deep into the skin, through the epidermis and dermis, to the subcutis layer, destroying collagen. It can cause premature ageing, although it’s still unclear what dose is required to do this or what the effects of long-term exposure are. There are also effects on melatonin levels and sleeping patterns.

Sounds as if more research is needed. Are you sure this is good science? Well, Samantha Tucker-Samaras said: “Long-term exposure to blue light has the potential to have significant negative impact on people’s wellbeing.”

And she is? Global vice-president, science and technology, beauty and personal care at Unilever. That’s science and technology.

What does ST-S suggest we do about it? “People should be looking for skincare products loaded with antioxidants, as well as niacinamide and zinc oxide.”

Such as those made by Unilever brands? Others are available.

Hang on, is this why Donald Trump has an orange face? Because he spends the majority of his waking hours staring at – shouting at – his phone? That could be it, yes.

But you don’t really look like that, do you, from spending a few hours at a laptop? No, I did it on a face-ageing app. Just hope I can figure out how to undo it.

Do say: “Time for a screen break. And to engage with three-dimensional living people for a while.”

Don’t say: “And I get a tan as well! My own little portable sunbed! Yay!”

Today’s COVID-19 Practical Tip: Avoiding Tech Neck

“Tech Neck” is a term given to headaches and spasms you can get from too much hunching. While working from home at this time, it is crucial for proper ergonomics to be taken seriously and avoid low back and neck issues.

Here are some tips from my chiropractor.

GET OFF THE COUCH
Although it might be tempting, working from your sofa is one of the worst things you can do for your back. Sitting or lounging on your couch for extended periods of time causes your lower back to curve inward too much, resulting in low back pain.

Maintain spine health by going for a chair or a barstool during working hours & use a table top. If possible make your own standing desk.

USE A ROLLED UP TOWEL TO SUPPORT YOUR BACK WHILE SITTING

COMPUTER SCREEN SHOULD BE AT EYE LEVEL
Whether sitting or standing, the middle of your screen should be in line with your eyes while you’re working, not below. Your computer/laptop should be elevated approximately 6 to 12 inches above your desk. Use books or boxes to get to that sweet spot. This will avoid neck & shoulder strain.

Avoid no-no spots for your laptop: never on your lap for long periods of time, sitting on your bed, and definitely not on your coffee table.

USE A WIRELESS KEYBOARD & WIRELESS MOUSE

Using a computer keyboard and mouse requires a person to make small, exact movements with their hand, fingers and thumb, and these small muscles can become tired and overworked. This overuse can cause pain, numbness, tingling, burning, stiffness and restricted range of motion as well as shoulder pain.

Reduce these symptoms by making sure you use the mouse as close to your body as possible. You should be able to reach your computer mouse when your upper arm is close to your body and your elbow is at 90 degrees.

If your computer is elevated to the proper height, it will be hard to use the keyboard and mouse without shrugging your shoulders. A wireless keyboard & mouse are a good investment. You can easily and inexpensively buy some fun ones online.

TAKE BREAKS AND STRETCH

Set your timer for 45 minutes-1 hour intervals when working on your computer. Take a 5 minute break to change activity and body position. Do some easy stretches to save your neck and back.

PROPER NUTRITION, SLEEP, HYDRATION, CUTTING BACK ON SUGAR, AND MAINTAINING GOOD GUT HEALTH WILL HELP YOUR OVERALL IMMUNE SYSTEM!