Avoid Eyestrain with your Desktop Computer

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Setting Up Your Desktop

Set up your computer correctly. The proper viewing distance is 20-24 inches. The correct viewing angle is 10 to 20 degrees from the midscreen to the top of the screen.

Use a good monitor. Usually the higher the resolution (the more pixels) the better. Look for smaller dots per inch and higher refresh rates (flicker speeds) are preferred, at least 70 Hz. Make sure the monitor has a high enough illumination to match the surroundings (be aware that anti-reflection screens reduce illumination).

computer eye strain

Use proper posture. This includes a tucked in chin, slight curve at the neck rather than a forward head and neck, a straight upper back with only a slight roundedness, and hollow in the low back.

Make sure overall illumination of the room is no more than three times brighter than the screen

Adjust screen brightness and contrast properly.

Use a desk lamp if possible instead of an overhead light.

Control glare from overhead lights and uncurtained windows. Use an anti-glare screen, or move your terminal to an area of limited glare.

Keep your wrists relatively straight while typing to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome. Wrist support pads can be very helpful.

If you work in a cubicle, try to give it a feeling of more expansiveness by, for example, placing a mirror on one of the walls to create the illusion of more space.

General Points

  • Take rest breaks at least every 20 minutes to allow eyes and muscles to recuperate. Short, frequent breaks are better than longer, less frequent breaks. Try 2-3 minutes every 15-20 minutes, 5 minutes every 30 minutes, or 10 minutes every hour.
  • Frequently look at something more than 20 feet away.
  • Blick regularly to keep your eyes moist.
  • Don't use for more than 2 hours in any sitting.
  • Set the screen at an angle that reduces need to bend your neck, and reduces reflections.
  • Keep the screen free of dust.
  • Increase font size for comfortable viewing (browsing - use "View/text size/increase") - apparently, viewing small fonts can actually cause rises in blood pressure & stress levels.
  • Stretch frequently
  • Change tasks to prevent muscle stiffness.
  • Don't work in a dark room
  • Humidity helps - if your home office's air is dry, get a humidifier, especially in the winter.
  • If you wear reading glasses when working on the computer, have your doctor test your vision at the distance of the length of your arm, rather than closer. This is the distance you want to be from the screen.
  • Do eye exercises and acupressure massage points every hour on the computer. We have published a comprehensive book on healing your eyes naturally, which includes exercises, massage, etc.