Computers Wearing Workers Down

November 8, 2002 ( - Feeling a bit run down? Having trouble sleeping? Co-workers getting on your nerves? Blame it on your PC.

Or your Mac, for that matter.   A new three-year study of 25,000 workers found that people who spent more than five hours a day in front of a computer screen reported significantly higher complaints of sleep-related symptoms and mental stress.

“Our results suggest that physical symptoms increase with duration of daily VDT (visual display terminal) use without threshold, while mental- and sleep-related symptoms increase with VDT work of more than five hours per day,” the researchers wrote, according to

According to the study, led by Dr. Tetsuya Nakazawa and published in the November issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, those symptoms included:

  • anxiety,
  • “difficulty getting along with co-workers,” and
  • a “reluctance to go out to work.”

In addition, the Japanese researchers discovered that people who sat in front of computer screens were more likely to experience physical pain such as eye and shoulder strain, and to suffer from motivational symptoms such as lethargy.

Me?   I’m going back to bed….