Living with the internet: learning online
Living with the internet: learning online

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Living with the internet: learning online

1.1.3 Health issues of studying online

Won't studying at a computer be bad for my health?

Studying at a computer can affect your body. In particular, it is known that working at a computer display has the following health risks:

  • Eye strain: Working at a screen causes you to stare more intently at a small area than you would under other circumstances.

  • Upper limb disorders: These are sometimes referred to as RSI (repetitive strain injury).

  • Headaches: Some people report headaches after working at a screen for a long period.

Hence we suggest the following tips to alleviate most of these problems:

  • Take frequent breaks.

  • Get your position comfortable, e.g. give yourself sufficient legroom.

  • Make sure your chair and desk are the right height – your lower arms should be roughly horizontal and your feet flat on the floor.

  • Make your working environment comfortable, e.g. arrange your monitor to avoid bright reflections on the screen.

  • Use the mouse correctly – keep the mouse within easy reach, do not grip it too tightly, and rest your fingers lightly on the buttons.

  • Adjust your screen brightness and contrast to suit you and the lighting conditions.

The following section discusses in more detail some of the health and safety aspects of using a computer.

T180_9

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus