With so many of us nowadays using computers everyday at our work, it is no surprise that computer eye strain is increasingly becoming a major job related complaint. Unless you are very disciplined and plan to take regular breaks away from your desk, some of us spend up to eight or nine hours a day in front of a screen, whether it is a computer or TV.
Monitors have come along way from the black and white flickering screens from the past and there has been plenty of research on how it affects us, but the general consensus remains that they do not cause any serious long term damage. However staring at a screen all day can lead to decreased productivity, physical fatigue as well as head and neck aches.
There are a few easy steps people can take to prevent the symptoms of computer eye strain;
- The first is taking regular breaks away from your screen, something most people already know but few actually do. Try to aim for five to ten minutes every hour where you can stand up and move about, this will not only help prevent eye strain but will improve productivity.
- Eye strain can also be caused by excessive bright light from either outdoor sunlight or from harsh interior lighting, toning this down may make a big improvement.
- Reading documents printed on paper instead of on screen also helps but if you have to, it may be a good idea to consider installing an anti glare screen on your monitor.
- Screen brightness, text size and contrast and colour can also play a part in causing unnecessary strain. Making adjustments to your computer display settings will provide welcome relief for your uncomfortable eyes.
- Finally, if your eyes are feeling particularly tired after long spells in front of your computer screen, it may be time to get them checked out. Having a routine eye examination is one of the most important things you can do to prevent computer eye strain. If computers make up a significant part of your working day, you are entitled to ask your employer to pay for your eye test and some will even contribute towards glasses.
If you use a computer regularly in and out of work, you simply can’t afford not to look after your eyes. It will help your concentration, productivity and ability to do your job. A small adjustment or two may mean the difference between a daily strain and a relaxed day in the office!