Computer use linked to deep vein thrombosis

Office workers risk being struck down by deep vein thrombosis if they sit at their computer screens for long periods without a break, health experts have warned.

The warning came as it emerged that a computer programmer almost died after a 12-hour stint in front of his screen in what is believed to be one of the first cases in the UK of a phenomenon dubbed e-thrombosis.

Beverley Hunt, medical director of the charity Lifeblood, said few office workers seemed aware that they could be affected in the same way as air passengers. “Immobility is a key factor in causing thrombosis,” she said.

Computer programmer Chris Simmons yesterday revealed how he collapsed in agony after spending 12 hours at his screen and was unable to move.

A few days later, he began coughing up blood and had an MRI scan.

A pulmonary embolism – a blood clot that had travelled from his leg and lodged in his lung – was spotted.

Simmons, who works from home, has since changed his routine. “Now I get up from the computer more often – even if it’s just to play with the cats for 10 minutes, or make a cup of tea,” he said.

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