Computer Eye Strain Prevention

on July 20, 2020 in ABR Blog, Workplace Safety


Computer Eye Strain Prevention Tips

COVID-19 has shifted a great majority of in-person office work to home office tele-work. Right now, most of our meetings and calls involve use of our computers or cell phones. Pre-pandemic, office staff would normally get a break from digital screen work by attending in-person meetings in a conference room setting or driving to an out of office appointment at a client location. Due to our increased used of screen time, it’s important to take steps to prevent computer eye strain.

Prefer to watch than keep reading? UC San Diego Health created this 4 minute video with computer eye strain prevention tips:

Computer Eye Strain Causes

Position: Monitors placed too close, too far away, or at an angle to your field of vision, making it difficult to focus

Brightness: Screens that are too bright or too dim and high- or low-contrast images or text bodies, which can lead to eye fatigue and dryness

Lack of breaks: Spending too much time in front of computer monitors without taking time to allow eyes to readjust

Computer Eye Strain Prevention Tips

Follow ergonomic best practices when positioning your computer screen:

  • Height: Your eye level falls within 2” – 3” of the top of the screen.
  • Distance: The screen should be 16” – 28” away from your eyes.
  • Position: Place your primary monitor directly in front of you.
  • Lighting: Place your monitor perpendicular to the strongest source of natural light, and so that artificial light sources are overhead or to the side.

Adjust your monitor’s brightness and contrast settings to a comfortable level.

Exercise your eyes

Avoid focusing fatigue. Reduce your risk of tiring your eyes from constantly focusing on your screen, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds. Some call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

  • Another exercise is to look far away at an object for 10-15 seconds such as out a window or a clock or photo on a wall across the room, then gaze at something up close for 10-15 seconds. Then look back at the distant object. Do this 10 times.
  • Both of these exercises will reduce your risk of computer eye strain. Also, remember to blink frequently during the exercises to reduce your risk of computer-related dry eye.

Lastly, take time to regularly get up from your desk/computer. Not only is it good for your eyes but it is also good for your body to stretch and walk.