Tag Archives: eye strain

How To Prevent Eye Strain

How To Prevent Eye Strain

Our eyes are a complex organ encompassed by muscles that can be overworked. Studies show that 50% to 90% of people who work on computers have some symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

CVS, also known as Digital Eye Strain, is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries. It is not one specific issue but a range of eye strain and vision-related problems. CVS occurs when our eyes are focused on a computer or display for long, uninterrupted periods of time, following the same path over and over.

Common symptoms include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, eye strain, and neck and shoulder pain.

Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the onset of CVS and reduce eye strain.

Take breaks often: Every hour or so, take a break from looking at a screen. Walk over to the office kitchen for coffee or water, say hello to a colleague nearby, or do a lap around the office. Moving around will help you feel more energized while giving your eyes a much needed rest from the glare of a screen.

Modify your workstation: Setting up an ergonomic workstation will help prevent eye strain and fatigue. Light levels along with monitor distance and placement reduce headaches, eye fatigue and neck strain. Place desk lights, such as the Humanscale Element Disc Light, over paper documents and away from your monitor to prevent glare. Monitors should be arms distance away, at least 20 inches, and the center of your screen should reach eye level. Using a monitor arm allows for effortless adjustments.

Observe the 20-20-20 rule: If you work on a computer all day, you can reduce eye strain with this rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to shift your focus on something 20 feet away. Make this rule work for you. If every 30 minutes is better, try a 30-20-20 approach. It’s more important to give your eyes a break than to stick to 20 minutes. Find a schedule that works with the way you work.

Blink: It sounds simple enough, nevertheless people tend to blink less frequently when working on a computer. This leads to dry, red eyes. Making a conscious effort to blink more will keep eyes moist.

If you are experiencing eye strain, neck pain, or headaches at the office, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with one of our trained specialists. They can assist you with a workstation setup to prevent pain throughout the day.

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Ergonomic Workstations: Office Lighting Habits

A vital part of the ergonomic workstation is proper lighting placement and the correct level of illumination. A bright and adjustable light can help ease eye fatigue, neck strain, and headaches in the office.

A majority of offices were not designed for computer use and lighting of the past was made for 20-40 degrees of horizontal viewing rather than the 10-25 degrees of monitor viewing we need now. Desk lamps incorrectly placed and windows behind computers can cause glare. Bright lights shining on screens can “wash out” images, which can cause you to strain your eyes to make out the objects on the screen. Having a high contrast between light and dark areas around your workstation can also cause headaches and eye fatigue.
Follow these tips to avoid unnecessary strain and pain:

  • Use adjustable lighting to illuminate your keyboard and paperwork.
  • When doing paperwork, use spot lighting to increase the brightness and reduce eyestrain and headaches.
  • Take into consideration all glare sources – windows, overhead lighting, reflection off of glass, etc.
  • Place computers at a right angle to any window.
  • Utilize lamp shades and glare shields to redirect light away from your eyes.
  • Never place lights directly behind a computer monitor.
  • Use blinds or drapes to eliminate bright outside light.

For more information on ergonomic workstations and solutions, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit your local Relax The Back location.

Ergonomic Workstations: Office Monitor Habits

Monitor position is key when it comes to an ergonomic workstation. While many of these positions can happen, the ergonomically friendly position is ‘The Incline’.

Working at a computer for long hours at a time can often lead to some rather interesting monitor positions. While they may seem to work in the moment, some positions can cause eyestrain, eye fatigue, muscle pain and stress on the torso.

Follow this ergonomic guide to avoid unnecessary strain and pain:

  • Viewing distance should be 20-40 inches.
  • Center of the monitor should be 10-25 degrees below horizontal eye level. Raisers such as the iLevel Laptop Raiser make this an easy transition.
  • Monitor should be able to tilt from 5 degrees backward to 15 degrees forward to help eliminate glare.
  • Source documents should be at the same distance and height as the monitor
  • Monitor should be directly in front of the user and never more than 35 degrees of axis.
  • Top of monitor to keyboard should never be greater than a 60-degree angel.
  • Use a monitor arm such as the Humanscale Monitor Arm to reduce neck and upper back pain.

For more information on Ergonomic workstations and solutions, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit your local Relax The Back location to receive a custom adjustment of the proper angles for your monitor.