How often do you use the computer? How much time do you spend engaging in repetitive tasks such as typing behavior? You better be careful because studies show that engaging in these behaviors can lead to early signs of hand and wrist disorders!
Recent studies show that sensory input generated during highly repetitive tasks can degrade the sensory representation of the hand and eventually lead to sensory and motor problems. In a study conducted by Tremblay et al. (2002), the researchers found that early signs of deterioration in hand function can be present in persons constantly exposed to computer tasks and that these signs are more readily apparent in women than in men.
64 adults over 18 years of age with no previous history of diagnosed neuropathy or diseases that are commonly associate with peripheral neuropathy, have been in the same occupation for the last 12 months, employees of local software development companies, and workers in nearby hospitals were the participants of the study. After conducting baseline and further tests, results show that women are more at risk to develop hand and wrist disorders than men are. Strong links between increased computer use and decreased performance in tests requiring spatial acuity and fine manipulative skills were found. Finally, researchers found that loss in tactile spatial acuity in female frequent computer users along with the poor finger dexterity may be seen as an early consequence of central sensory degradation induced by constant repetitions of fine motor tasks linked to computer operations.
Given all these information, one should note the risks and consequences of engaging in repetitive computer tasks. So, if you don’t plan to have deteriorated sensitivity in your fingertips, you might want to consider shutting down your computer and engaging in other leisurely lifestyle activities.
Tremblay, F., Mireaulty, A. C., Letourneau, J., Pierrat, A., & Bourrassa, S. (2002). Tactile perception and manual dexterity in computer users. Somatosensory & Motor Research, 19(2), 101-108.