Rest Your Eyes at Work

When you’re caught dozing off during a movie with your spouse, it’s not uncommon to justify your fatigue as “I’m just resting my eyes”. But when it comes to computer work and viewing your monitor, ‘resting your eyes’ is an important area of concern.

In today’s office environments, many of us spend 6-7 hours (or more!) seated at our office workstations. Minus the occasional break, most of this time is spent staring at a computer screen. We often fail to consider the effect this has on our body, and more importantly our eyes, and subsequent issues such as headaches.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help minimize eye strain and prevent discomfort and headaches:

20 20 20 ruleExercise the 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, look at something least 20 feet away (e.g. look out a window) for 20 seconds. Or better yet, challenge yourself to get up and move around every 20 minutes to give your eyes (and body) these breaks that they need.

Monitor position and distance

Office ergonomic guidelines stipulate that you should position your monitor at approximately one arm’s length from your normal seated position. This will help to minimize not only squinting, but also craning of your neck to view the screen.

Note: As fatigue sets in later in the workday, be sure to move the monitor closer to you rather than craning towards it, allowing you to maintain neutral (i.e. straight) neck postures.

Minimize glare

Glare, reflections, and poor lighting can wreak havoc on our eyes. As such, attempt to reduce this glare with these ideas:

  • Angle your monitor backward approximately 10°Monitor glare
  • Install anti-glare screens on your monitor
  • Adjust blinds on windows to adjust brightness levels
  • Avoid having lights/lamps shine directly on your monitor

Adjust computer display settings

Make the following adjustments to reduce eye fatigue and strain:

  • Brightness: Set the brightness to roughly the same as your surrounding workstation
  • Text Size: Set the font to a size to prevent squinting or craning of your neck to view (Rule of Thumb: 3 sizes larger than the smallest you can view from a normal viewing position). Don’t forget about using the zoom in/zoom out feature as well!
  • Text Contrast: Our eyes prefer a dark-to-light combination in terms of contrast, such as black writing on a white background.

Take breaks

All employees, regardless of the company, are entitled to breaks each day. Take your breaks away from your desk to give your eyes a break, and reduce overall tension and potential strain from long hours of computer work!

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