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Computer Ergonomics

If you spend some or all of your workday in front of a computer screen, then there’s a good chance you’ve experienced one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Changes in color perception

This grouping of symptoms is used to define computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as computer eyestrain. Remarkably, research has shown that between 50% and 90% of individuals who use a computer for work experience one or more of the symptoms associated with CVS.

There are number of different methods for addressing the effects of computer vision syndrome, and computer ergonomics plays a big role in that process.

Ergonomics Tips: Best Practices for Prolonged Computer Use

Computer ergonomics is about creating a comfortable fit between the computer and the person using it in the work environment; ultimately, the goal is to optimize performance and productivity, and of course to avoid any computer-related health issues.

To that end, here are some key tips for ensuring your workstation and computer habits are ideally suited to keeping your eyes healthy:

  • Movement is Key: Studies have shown that computer users who make it a point to move around periodically throughout the day are more likely to avoid computer-related pain. This is because movement helps to reduce stiffness, boost circulation, and lubricate the joints. Getting up every 20-30 minutes is usually recommended; it’s also a good way to get your eyes off the screen.
  • Distance From Monitor: When a person uses the computer, the screen is typically 20-26 inches away from their eyes. This is good, as two feet is the recommended distance to keep a computer. Troubles often arise when using a laptop, as it must be kept closer to use the keyboard.
  • Reduce glare: When there’s glare reflecting off of your computer screen, your eyes become more sensitive to the light, and have greater difficulty distinguishing letters and words from the contrasting background.
  • Exercising at Your Desk:There are a number of different exercises you can do at your desk – with no disruption to others nearby – that can help keep you alert and comfortable over the course of the day. Some of the most commonly utilized ones are:
    • Shoulder rotations
    • Neck rotations
    • Long, slow shrugs
    • Chin tucks
    • Foot rotations
    • Eye rolls