Review on June 05, 2009
Aside from eyestrain, insanity, and obesity, office workers now have a new health issue to worry about: tingling extremities. Even if not to the point of becoming carpal tunnel syndrome, this symptom can still be bothersome and can be a sign of further problems down the road. While the link between computer use and tingling extremities has been established in a series of published studies, researchers are still seeking the exact method in which this happens. It was thought that repetitive typing actions could lead to nerve compression.
As a result, in a Danish study conducted in 2004, computer users who were experiencing tingling extremities were tested to see if this nerve compression could be the issue. Out of a sample group of 40, twenty were experiencing the tingling extremities in tandem with their computer usage. The other twenty were an age and gender-matched control group, lacking tingling extremities. Both were tested for signs of nerve compression under pressure over a period of several months. While seven out of the tingling extremities group exhibited signs of this nerve compression, three out of the control group did as well. This was not enough of a discrepancy to yield proof-positive results; researchers are still seeking a definite cause behind the tingling extremities effect.
This same research team found other corollaries between the computer usage and tingling extremities. Women were found to have a greater incidence of tingling or numbness, as did those office workers who spent more than 30 hours per week with repetitive clicking action. While tingling extremities seemed to be directly related to this action, a sedentary lifestyle seems to come into play as well. The researchers ruled out carpal tunnel syndrome in their results, leading to a need for greater study into the world of causes of tingling extremities.
- Overgaard, E. "Tingling/numbness in the hands of computer users: neurophysiological findings from the NUDATA study," International Archive of Occupational and Environmental Health. October 2004.
- "Computer Use and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome," Journal of the American Family Physician, February 2004.