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Computer use and health hazard: perceptions from Nigeria's Premier University

Wole Michael Olatokun
IA Momoh


The study investigated the perception of University of Ibadan teaching staff and students on prolonged use of the computer and the associated health hazards. It aimed at determining how much information the respondents had on what the effect of prolonged interaction with the computer had on their health. The proliferation of computers and widespread use in the Nigeria and indeed the University of Ibadan without the investigation of associated health implications served as impetus for this study.

Four hypotheses were formulated and tested. The descriptive survey design was adopted and the study population comprised the teaching staff in six faculties and two institutes and students of three departments and one institute in the University of Ibadan. A total of five hundred was sampled using simple random sampling technique. The instrument of data collection was a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Findings revealed that some of the respondents have not experienced any health hazards associated with prolonged use of the computer, while some proportion indicated that they had experienced the combination of headache, vision and ergonomic related problems. At the 5% level of significance, analysis revealed that the study population did not perceive death, cancer, headache and pains and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) as health hazards of prolonged interaction with the computer and its peripherals. Considering the fact that the Chi-square statistic (X2) was higher than the p-value in the four cases of the hypotheses tested, the null hypotheses were rejected. Based on the findings, recommendations were made that adequate and appropriate plans of action for educating and informing computer users about the health hazards associated with prolonged use of the computer be put in place by stakeholders.

The Information Technologist Vol. 2(2) 2005: 9-28

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eISSN: 2805-3478
print ISSN: 1597-4316