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Ergonomics & Eye Strain

April 19, 2017

Ergonomics & Eye Strain

Filtering out blue light can help to relieve strain on the retina, but the eyes are also irritated by the musculoskeletal strain of focusing and re-focusing on a close up object. In fact, some research suggest that our eyes may actually be unable to focus on a computer screen depending on the level of resolution. The closer we are to the screen, the more amplified these strains become, as well as further slowing the blink rate.

Ensuring that your workstation is set up as ergonomically is very important to alleviating Digital Eye Strain (“DES”).

  1. Because the eyes will be in a static position, it is important that your screens are set up in such a way that your eyes are staring straight ahead in their natural “resting” position, not looking up, down, or to the side.
  2. It is important that the screen is far enough away from the eyes that they do not strain to focus on individual pixels if your screen has low resolution, or that the blink rate slows to a point that causes dry eye (see the data here).
  3. Make sure that you apply the 20/20/20 rule (link to blog post). Actually, getting up and stretching every hour will help your eyes and overall health. Sitting in an uncomfortable chair and allowing the muscles to tighten will naturally cause bad posture, most likely causing you to slump forward in your chair– both bringing you nearer to the monitor as well as mis-aligning your line of sight. (Check your posture right now!)

In order to prevent these musculoskeletal symptoms of Digital Eye Strain ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is my posture?
  • How are my monitors set up?
  • Where is the line of sight, and how close am I to them?
  • Is my chair a high quality, ergonomically designed chair?
  • Do I have a standing desk?
  • Am I practicing the 20/20/20 rule?

Combating the pain of digital eye strain and its potential effects on our health can’t be done with only one solution! That’s why it’s important to be conscious of all aspects of our visual lifestyles and what we are doing to protect and enhance them.

Referenced Study: Charpe, Namrata Arora, and Vandana Kaushik. “Computer Vision Syndrome 9CVS): Recognition and Control in Software Professionals.” Journal of Human Ecology 28.1 (2009): 67-69. Krepublishers. Web. 18 Apr. 2017.


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