Dizziness & disequilibrium (prolong computer use / desk job)
Dizziness or vertigo is a common problem with people who spend long hours sitting in a specific posture, specially people who work long hours on computer and internet.
Dizziness isn’t always a sign of some serious health condition, however it shouldn’t be ignored and should be managed on time, specially if you feel dizzy often.
Vertigo and disequilibrium (not inequilibrium) are also associated with dizziness, specially in people with prolong computer use or desk job in an improper posture.
What is Dizziness
Dizziness refers to the light headed feeling. A person feels unbalanced and lightheaded in this condition as it affects the sensory organs including the part of ear responsible for maintaining balance.
Dizziness can also result in fainting. However, it’s not a disease in itself, rather it’s a symptom of any other disorder which should be taken care of in order to get rid of dizziness.
True dizziness means the feeling of lightheaded and nearly fainting.
What is vertigo?
Vertigo may cause dizziness, however it refers to a different condition. Vertigo refers to the spinning feeling.
Consult a doctor if you’re having repeated bouts of dizziness or vertigo to evaluate the underlying cause.
Dizziness or disequilibrium associated with prolong computer use
This feeling is associated with posture change, and with the movement of neck in specific directions. Sometimes it’s confused with low blood pressure or hypoglycemia (low sugar level of the blood) but it is not specifically the case.
A lot of us undergo prolong computer usage phases during our lives. Sometimes for work, sometimes for playing our favorite games or even while trying to finish watching our favorite season! Well entertainment and work are important too, but they should be done in a healthy way.
Prolong computer use shouldn’t compromise our health and should be optimized in a way that the body remains normal.
Dizziness in programmers, web developers, graphics designers
I have experienced personally among some programmers and web developers, who spend a lot of time working on their bed or couch for many hours in a go, with a very improper posture of their neck, which keeps on bending forward, and also the shoulders muscles remain tensed because of typing.
The issue can even lead to the damage to the vertebra of the neck and thus causing long term damage to the neck and spinal cord.
How to manage dizziness due to prolong computer use
Prolong computer use in a static and wrong position can result in dizziness, vertigo and even serious issues to the spinal cord and neck muscles. The solution to avoid all this is probably simple, including:
Maintain proper posture while on computer
We all learn how to operate and run a computer and do wonders with it, but we never give much emphasis on how to use it properly, how to sit while using it, which type of chair to use and so on.
Keep a proper posture while working on computers or what ever type of work you do that requires you to sit for many hours in a row.
The neck should not be bent very much for long and also the shoulders should be kept at ease.
Have a proper chair and sitting mechanism while you work for longer period of time. Don’t lie down on the bed with your neck bent at 90 degrees just through the pillow or the back of the bed. This is seriously damaging and can even lead to long term damage to the cervical spine and neck muscles.
Sit up straight while working on computer in an ergonomic way. Some people even like standing desks so that their body remains active while they’re working on computer or desks for a longer period of time. Make sure you have comfortable shoes or have something on floor to keep the feet from getting damaged due to prolong standing too.
Take Frequent breaks from computer
Take frequent breaks during work, to release tension from your muscles of neck, shoulders, arms and eyes. Get up from the chair and walk around.
It’s recommended to take a 10 minutes break after every 50 minutes, making it a complete hour. It not only relieves your body from physical stress, but also relaxes your mind. It’s helpful for maintaining efficiency and focus in the long run instead of not taking breaks and then ending up burned out and exhausted.
People who work on computer or desk for long are found not to be having regular exercise. Regular exercise is important for maintaining normal health. It’s recommended to have around 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily for at least 5 days a week or to exercise in any pattern among the minimum recommended exercise routine.
Also, add stretching to your routine too as stretching is equally important too. Do muscles strengthening exercises specially for your shoulders and neck muscles.
Exercise daily, normal jogging and push ups might work. Swimming is the best in this case, if you make a habit of regular swimming, you will not encounter this issue probably. However there are several specific exercises for neck muscles too to relieve the problem.
Massage the neck and upper back muscles
Massaging enhances the blood flow the part of the body and also relieves the stress. Massaging the neck muscles gently and smoothly also relieves the problem and may help in stabilizing the persons dizziness and vertigo issue.
Have plenty of water
Water is an essential requirement for our body. Although how much water we need everyday is variable depending upon the exercise and routine, but at least 8 glass of water is recommended to be taken each day.
Lack of water intake can result in low blood pressure and thus aid in postural hypotension too, resulting in dizziness and vertigo when you get up from the chair or on changing posture.
Consult a doctor
If you’re feeling dizzy, you should consult your physiotherapist for details on what should be done specifically in your case. Do not delay if the dizziness is severe or is increasing.
Complications of Dizziness and vertigo
Dizziness can result in serious complications if it causes loss of balance or fainting. This condition can be especially dangerous if the person having vertigo or dizziness is driving or is managing some heavy machinery, or doing any activity that needs focus and balance.
Be cautious when you feel dizzy, stop driving immediately and find a safe spot to rest until you feel better or medical help arrives. Same goes for other activities too where losing balance or focus can be dangerous or fatal.
Treatment of dizziness depends on the underlying cause. So if the cause is lack of activity or muscles weakness, one should start working on them and get them fixed.
Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, etc., commonly used by prolong computer users, also trigger dizziness and thus should be avoided.