Prevent Eye Strain at Work May 31 2019
Staring at a computer screen all day can cause some serious eye problems. Similar to most other workplace injuries, eye strain is caused by repetitive movement. You can’t always control the amount of time you need to spend on your computer, but you can implement healthy vision habits.
Set up your computer at the most comfortable viewing position for your eyes. Make sure monitors are an arm’s length away. Use a riser or stand to place your screens at or slightly below eye level. Pay attention to glare. Avoid it by changing brightness levels and tilting your screens. If you need to reference printed documents, place them at the same level as your monitors. This will not only reduce eye strain but also keep the rest of your body from having to hold an awkward posture.
The lighting in your workspace is more important than you think. Your monitor lighting should never be brighter than the surrounding room light. If you have lamps or windows, set up your workstation so that the light source is shining beside you. A bright light in front of or behind your computer can create glare or shadows that cause less than optimal viewing conditions. Lighting changes throughout the day. Make sure you have shades for windows or the ability to turn off overhead lighting if needed.
It’s important to look away from your computer screen every so often. Mayo Clinic suggests the “20-20-20 rule.” Basically, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes of screen time. It allows your eyes to relax by focusing on a further distance. During these short breaks, we also suggest standing up, doing a few stretches or getting in some steps around your office. Any way to increase blood flow and give your neck, back and eyes a break.
Make a conscious effort to blink more often while you’re at your computer screen. It’s easy to forget to blink when in the middle of a task. Blinking helps refresh your eyes by producing tears. This is especially important when relying heavily on your eyes in an office with less than perfect air quality. According to Mayo Clinic, artificial tears may be the relief you need. If you experience dry eyes, prolonged computer time might make the issue worse.
Your computer and monitors have adjustable settings for a reason. Change the brightness, contrast, or font size to fit your needs. Your tasks and work environment will play a large role in your optimal screen settings. You may need different brightness levels during the winter versus the summer. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate these settings multiple times per year.
Ergo Works® in Palo Alto, CA is your ergonomic expert. Whether you need protective eyewear or one of our ergonomic services, contact us. We can help you create a safe and healthy work environment. Our team was developed to combat ergonomic concerns among heavy computer users. Schedule any of our three levels of Ergonomic Evaluations to begin your ergonomic health journey.