Prevent Computer Eye Strain at Work

The work industry has seemed to engage technology in our everyday life, but unfortunately what comes with extensive exposure to technology, is eye strain.

What is eye strain?

Eye strain (or Asthenopia) is an eye condition where the eyes may be sore, tired, or even burning or itching. You might also experience dry or watery eyes, or have blurred or double vision. This is often caused by prolonged screen time, prolonged driving, extreme fatigue or lack of sleep. 

Here at RJG Mediaworks, we’ve come up with 6 Ways to Prevent Computer Eye Strain at Work:

1. Reduce Glare

Glare from your computer, causing light to bounce off walls and reflect off your computer screen is a common cause of eye strain and can be prevented by installing an anti-glare screen on your computer display.

If you wear glasses, it would be a great idea to purchase lenses with an anti-reflective (AR) coating, which reduces glare by minimising the amount of light reflecting off the surfaces of the lenses of your glasses. 

It is also advised that, if possible, windows are to the side so that there is no glare from behind or in front of you.

 2. Adapt Your Lighting

Eye strain is also often caused by an imbalance of light in the workplace. For example, you may have incredibly bright light coming from outside or a ceiling light inside. It is advised that when using a computer or screen, the ambient light should be half that of a regular workplace. 

You can minimise light by closing blinds, or changing the your ceiling light bulbs to something softer/dimmer. 

You may also find that turning off ceiling lights and using floor lamps instead will be much easier on the eyes as well. 

3. Replace Your Monitor

If you haven’t already, consider upgrading to a flat-panel LED screen with an anti-reflective surface. Make sure that your new monitor is with the highest resolution possible and a large display so that your image and display is easy for you to see, therefore being less strain on your eyes. 

For a desktop, make sure your monitor has a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches. 

4. Take Breaks Often

It’s important to take frequent screen breaks (at least 10min every hour), to reduce your risk of eye strain or computer vision syndrome. 

During these breaks, make sure to stand up, move around, and stretch your entire body to minimise tension and muscle fatigue. 

5. Adjust Your Computer Display Settings

Adjusting your computer display settings is the easiest way to reduce eye strain and fatigue. The 3 main adjustments you might need to make include brightness, text size & contrast, and colour temperature. 

It is advised that you do your best to adjust your display brightness to your surrounding lighting. If you still can’t tell, look at the back of this page and see if it is another light source or if it adapts well to your surrounding workstation. If it seems dull and grey, then it may be too dark. 

You can also adjust the text size and contrast which might make it a bit easier for you to read and focus on, especially if it is black text on a white background.

You can also adjust the colour temperature, particularly, minimising blue light from your screen which you can do through a blue light filter app, or in your computer display settings. 

6. Exercise Your Eyes

A great trick to help prevent eye strain/fatigue is to look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 ft away), for at least 20 seconds. This is called the “20-20-20” rule, and what this does is relax the focusing muscles inside the eye to reduce fatigue. 

Another exercise that is very helpful is The Palm Eye Exercise which includes cupping your hands over your closed eyes and staring into the far back of the dark space and it will slowly go darker. Do this for a minimum of 30 seconds every time you practise the exercise and your eyes will be refreshed to get back to work!

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