Beware your computer can kill you

It's true your computer can kill you. We are not just talking about the gamers who have died at their machines after days of no food and water, but anyone who is affected by long hours at their desk.

New Zealand researchers have found that sitting at a computer for hours on end can cause fatal blood clots, just as long flights can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), known as economy-class syndrome.

The research was undertaken by Wellington-based Medical Research Institute of New Zealand.

They discovered the link when a 32-year-old man who sat at his computer terminal for up to 18 hours a day nearly died after he developed a blood clot, which developed in his leg, travelled to his lungs. DVT is caused when blood thickens in a vein, forms a clot and causes the leg to swell. The most serious complication is when part of the clot breaks off and travels to the heart or other vital organs, which can sometimes be fatal.

Dubbed e-thrombosis it is typical of a modern sedentary lifestyle.

Doctors suggest flexing one's toes and ankles, drinking water and avoiding alcohol, and getting up to stretch one's legs at least once an hour. An aspirin, which helps to thin the blood, can also help.

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Sandra Rossi

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