Working At a Computer All Day? Take Care of Your Eyes
June 29, 2022
There’s a high chance that if you’re reading this, you work on a computer for most, if not all of the day. Even if you don’t, there’s still a high chance you’re looking at a screen of some kind for the majority of the day. And while computers may make our jobs easier, quicker, and more accurate, it also has the side effect of causing a significant amount of eye strain.
According to recent studies, as many as 90% of people who spend extended time in front of digital screens experience some sort of eye strain or related eye issues. While giving up computers altogether may not be an option, you can take steps to keep your eyes safe while on the job and at home.
Here are some easy, actionable tips on how to reduce eye strain when you’re staring at a computer all day.
Keep Your Distance
If your computer is too close to your face, your eyes will have to strain to stay focused. However, you don’t want your screen to be too far away either. Keep your monitor just below your eye level and about 20 to 28 inches away from your eyes. This is considered the optimal spot by researchers.
Work With Proper Lighting
The strain placed on your eyes can be exacerbated by working on a computer when there are brighter light sources in the immediate area. Examples of this include working near an open or unshaded window, with bright daylight or sun coming in.
This can also happen in offices where the ambient lighting has not been adjusted to compensate for the strain placed on the eyes. In general, your ambient lighting levels should only be about half as bright as traditional offices.
Other lighting issues can be caused by harsh fluorescent lighting, which although diffuse, is still irritating. Try working with soft white LED lights in floor lamps. If fluorescents are unavoidable, try to switch to full-spectrum bulbs.
Adjust Your Screen Position
People have a habit of sitting close to their computer screen, but sitting too close to your screen contributes to eye strain. Adjusting your screen position is a simple and easy step you can take to protect your eyes. You should sit at least 20-30 inches away from your screen and position the top of your screen at eye level. This not only reduces the chances of eye strain; it prevents neck strain.
Take Frequent Breaks
Rest breaks for your eyes are something your grandparents didn’t have to plan into their day. But today we spend more and more time at our computer screens and need to consider giving our eyes a rest throughout the day. It’s best to give your eyes a short break after every two hours of continuous screen time. This could mean taking a five-minute walk to the water cooler during your workday.
Position your screen 20-30 inches away from your face, and make sure your eyes are level with the very top of your monitor. If you don’t have the ability to adjust your screen’s height, stack some hardcover books beneath it. Raising or lowering your chair can also help. The key thing to remember is that you should be looking slightly down at your work. The centre of the screen should be located between 15 and 20 degrees below horizontal eye level.
Turn Your Screen’s Brightness Down
High brightness strains your eyes at an accelerated rate. You will need to find the balance of brightness that works for you. If the monitors are like lamps in a darkened room, you might have a problem. But if you’re straining to see and the OS appears dim and dull, you’ve gone to far the wrong way. Once you find the right brightness, though, your eyes will be much better off.
Increase Your Font Size
If you notice yourself squinting to try to read the text on your computer screen, increase your font size. This can reduce some of the stress on your eyes and prevent unnecessary strain. If it’s within your budget, you can also opt for a bigger monitor, which naturally increases the size of whatever you’re working on.
Eye strain might not sound like a big deal, but anyone who deals with it can tell you just how intrusive it can be. If you have never experienced it from spending too much time in front of a screen, consider yourself lucky. But be proactive about making sure that you don’t. And if you’re a constant sufferer, it only takes a little effort and a few tweaks to make some high-quality adjustments that will make a big difference in your overall wellbeing.
If you find this article helpful, you might also like How To Use Technology To Maintain Your Work Life Balance.
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