Computers & Other Screens

Research conducted by the College of Optometrists shows that most of us spend nearly 50 hours a week staring at a computer screen.

More than half of those say they suffer from “tired eyes”, while others admit to suffering headaches, blurred vision and have difficulty focusing.

If you spend a lot of your time looking at a computer screen it is crucial you take regular breaks and have regular eye examinations.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Make sure that if you need glasses to look at a screen, you wear them!
  • Blink regularly. When focusing on a screen your reflexes will slow down, tear production will reduce, and you will blink less, causing dry and uncomfortable eyes.
  • Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away (six meters) for 20 seconds to give your eye muscles a break and help increase the rate of blinking.
  • Keep the distance of the monitor from your eyes between 40 and 76 centimeters (16 to 30 inches). Most people find a distance of 50 to 65 centimetres (20 to 26 inches) comfortable.
  • Make sure that the top of the monitor is at a level at or slightly below your horizontal eye level.
  • Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10- to 20-degree angle. This will enable you to create an optimum viewing angle.
  • Keep your screen free of dust and fingerprints.
  • Try and position your monitor so that you do not get distracting reflections (e.g. from a window).
  • Use an adjustable chair that enables you to sit at a proper angle and distance from your computer monitor screen.
  • If your work involves prolonged data entry use document holders to secure any reading or reference material. Placing them close to the monitor and at the same distance from your eyes as your monitor, will enable your eyes to remain focused as they look from the monitor to the reading material.
  • Use a character size that is visible. The character size is an important factor since it determines the distance at which you prefer to view the monitor.
  • Make sure your workstation is set up comfortably; avoid poor posture which can lead to neck, back, arm or other aches.