Given the fact that the average American spends over 7 hours looking at a screen each day, according to a June 8, 2021, report from DataReportal, here are some tips from The American Industrial Hygiene Association on how to avoid eyestrain.
In an overall report on ergonomics, the organization identified several problem areas and possible corrections for eyestrain, including:
- Move or shield the light source.
- Move the monitor.
- Change the monitor’s angle.
- Apply a good quality glare filter to the monitor.
- When correcting for glare, don’t create other problems. For instance, if you move your monitor, don’t put it in a place that will produce neck strain. The monitor should be directly in front of you.
- When possible, place your monitor at a right angle with the window.
- Following the preceding recommendations, adjust your screen position and lighting sources (lamps, etc.) to achieve best results.
- Work with a light screen background (dark type or images on white or pale background)—you will find it is easier on your eyes.
- Rest the muscles of your eyes by focusing on a distant object, away from your monitor, occasionally.
- When using a laptop, look into the distance more frequently. A laptop monitor will probably not have the best placement, since it is attached to the keyboard.
- If you are using a laptop at your primary workstation, a docking station with an external keyboard and mouse should be used. An external monitor, or display, should also be considered.
Readability of Screen and Document
- Place monitors directly in front of you and documents to the immediate right or left, at the same distance.
- Upgrade or replace monitors with poor resolution or flicker.
- Adjust your monitor’s font size or (if appropriate).
- If you wear glasses, consider getting full-frame reading glasses prescribed for the working distance of your monitor (typically, 15 to 30 inches/ 38 to 76 cm). These will allow you to place the monitor correctly and see well without stressing your posture.
- Place the monitor so that the top of the screen is at your line of sight. If you wear bifocals the top of the screen should be slightly below your line of sight.
- Don’t skip visits to the eye doctor. Eyestrain could indicate a problem with your vision beyond the use of a computer monitor.