How many hours a day do you spend in front of your computer? Probably more than you’d like to admit. Most likely you spend a large chunk of your day (and possibly most of your evening) and have experienced a few symptoms as a result of that. If you experience issues such as an aching neck, burning eyes, headaches, and vision blurring, you might have a common problem known as eyestrain.
Eyestrain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome, comes from a combination of the monitor’s back light brightness, glare, and the amount of time you spend staring at the screen. Most people will pop an ibuprofen and not give it any more thought until the next time they need something. This only seems to be a temporary relief for a greater problem.
To be proactive in your approach the following tips can be effective in preventing eyestrain.
1) Adjust your monitor’s position
Your screen should be 20-30 inches away from you and your eyes should be level with the very top of your monitor. The key here is to be looking down at your work. There are several ways to accomplish this. If you don’t have the ability to adjust your monitor’s height, you can stack some book under it or simply adjust the height of your chair. There are also risers you can purchase to adjust the monitor height.
2) Adjust the lighting
The goal with display brightness is to match your surrounding work space brightness with your monitor’s brightness. An office with too much artificial or natural light can create a glare on your screen that can quickly tire your eyes. Your computer screen should not be the brightest light in the room.
3) Use the 20-20-20 rule
The 20-20-20 rule goes as follows: look away from your screen every 20 minuets for 20 seconds and focus on a fix point 20 feet away. Blinking often and quickly will also do well for your eyes.
4) Color Temperature
There is software called F.lux that is free to download. This app uses your location to automatically adjust your display to predetermined color temperatures that match your lighting environment based on whether it is day or night.
5) Text size and color
Adjusting your text size and color is another way to reduce eyestrain. Text size should be three times the smallest size you can read from a normal viewing position (20-30 inches from your monitor). The color of your text should be black text on white background, it is what your eyes prefer, but you can use any other type of dark on light combination. The key fact here is to avoid low contrast color schemes.
It is important to keep your health in mind when working daily on a computer. We talked in our previous blog about physical health while working behind a desk (insert blog link here) . It is just as important to keep the health of your eyes in check as you go about your work week.