Advancements in technology have drastically accelerated over the last fifty years. Further, the pace of automation is anticipated to continue to evolve steadily over the course of the next century. However, despite these developments, it is more crucial that we acknowledge the fundamental designs that have evolved over millennia, within this vast universe. The human body, for example is a fantastic operation that runs so smoothly, we hardly notice the complexity of the symphony until the harmony is interrupted. In that context, the typical office environment is one place that can cause and contribute to much disharmony of mind and body. Though it seems it is seldom a topic of public discussion.
Computer Screens; Visually Toxic
Ubiquitous as screened electronic devices are, they emit high frequency blue light waves that with repetitive exposure can harm the retina and ultimately lead to serious visual impairments, (including macular degeneration). In addition, these screens, when viewed with low background light, or in the absence of surrounding light are even more harmful. Common symptoms of frequent exposure include eye strain and fatigue, aversion to sunlight, and headaches. Devices that emit high frequency blue light waves include cell phones, computers, laptops, I-pads, tablets and many electronic devices that contain screens, including public touch screen kiosks.
Lower Your Risk
There are glasses on the market available that are specifically designed to block high frequency blue light waves. Even orange glasses can provide mild relief, though they are far from sufficient protection from this harmful light. Blue blocking screen filters are also available for application to screen devices. Weather glasses, or filters, different products block different percentages of the high frequency light, and it is always wise to seek out this information in advance. Ultimately, moderation is the best solution, until this visually fatal flaw is corrected across all devices. Moreover, children are extremely vulnerable to the potential harm, due to their developing state as well as their thirst for constant engagement and learning which can lead to excessive device use.
Electronics and Radiation
Another harmful element of the office is the radiation emitted across electronics. Multiple devices connected in small spaces creates an electromagnetic force field, disrupting the nervous system, and interrupting the body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates the body’s rest cycle, metabolism, and resistance to stress. The FCC requires SAR, (Specific Absorption Rates) of radiation to be listed for phones, and radio wave emitting devices. The SAR is the ratio level of radiation the device emits when worn on the body or held to the head. The SAR information can be found in the user’s manual that typically comes with a purchased device. For phones, ideally, a lower rating is safest.
Notably, wireless and wired devices transmit radiation, including Bluetooth worn on the ear. A wire connected from a computer, phone, or other device to a headset will transmit radiation through the wire, and emit through the headset. Common symptoms from head-gear include pressure on the ear, and the sensation of heat on the ear. The repetitive accumulation of radiation can lead to hearing impairment, tumor growth, and cancer. Ferrite beads can significantly reduce the transmission of radiation through wired devices. They must be used appropriately to be effective. Once placed correctly, the results are immediately noticeable. Another way to minimize the transmission of radiation is to purchase RF safe accessories which can be far more effective than ferrite beads due to their construction and design to specifically block radiation transmission. The second factor of concern for all audio devices is the volume, which should be set at a low level for constant use, as overexposure can accumulate, and cause hearing impairment.
The last element of note: Sunlight and oxygen are essential elements for survival. As the green construction industry grows, this will become less of an issue for those working in offices. To those deprived of these natural wonders, they can provide a critical therapy for the cells and the senses.