Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Anchor Staff Writer
As most students and teachers have realized by now, distance learning is mentally straining. Many days consist of long hours staring at screens and it can be very exhausting. Not only are individuals being mentally hurt, but online learning is also causing physical issues. Carpal tunnel syndrome, spine and back pains, neck pain and stiffness, migraines, blurry eyes and overall discomfort are all possible physical damages that come with online learning. These medical conditions will only continue and worsen if actions and awareness are not taken rapidly. Let’s take a look at what students think and what someone can do in order to have a more safe and comfortable learning environment.
According to students, one of the most prominent physical pains distance learning beckons is headaches from staring at screens all day. Sophomore Haley Travieso claims that “after looking at my screen all day, I see dots for a few moments after. On top of that, I also have lingering headaches.” By constantly looking at screens all day, students become dizzier and it strains their eyes. This is not a new condition and is actually a medical diagnosis known as Computer Vision Syndrome. Not only does the computer cause headaches, but it can leave long term negative effects on one’s eyes. Another student Harrison Pimentel, claims that “I already had bad vision before, and it is [becoming] even worse now.” So what can we do to- if not fully fix- help the issue at hand?
Going back to Haley Travieso, I asked her what she did to help her headaches and eye problems; her solution has proven to help. She claims that “I bought blue-light glasses, and it has made a huge difference.” I have had issues with headaches after being on Zoom meetings all day and decided to give these glasses a shot. Using them has definitely helped, and it allows me to focus better on the work I am doing. The glasses help to block out some of the lighting in the screen that is linked to a majority of the headaches caused. Wearing the glasses has drastically reduced the headaches for myself and many others."
Another issue that comes across to a lot of individuals in the back/spinal pains that come from sitting in the same spot all day. Pimentel claims that “I feel like an old man with my back pain, and it hurts more now that I am sitting all day.” There are a few ways I found to help keep motion throughout the day and be more comfortable while learning. By stretching in between classes, and also moving around my learning spots, I feel a lot freer while working. Although there are a lot more flaws to distance learning, a positive is the ability to learn wherever and wear whatever you want. At times like these I feel it is important to be open minded, be optimistic and overall search for what's best for you.