If you have noticed an increase in headaches, blurry vision, dry eyes, or other vision problems after working on the computer for a while, it’s likely due to the fact that your workspace is set up completely wrong and is putting strain on your eyes. In order to save your eyes from further harm you should create a workspace that is more vision-friendly.
You may have heard it mentioned that adjusting the position and brightness of your monitor can help relieve eye strain, but there’s more involved to it than just that. For the best results, you should look at every aspect of your workspace from the chair you sit in to the position of the keyboard and mouse on your desk.
Repositioning or even replacing the items in your workspace will not only help to relieve the problems with your eyes, but it will also improve problems you may be experiencing with the rest of your body as well, such as back, shoulder and neck pain, and stiffness.
To start creating a more vision-friendly workspace you should take a look at your chair. The cushioning on the chair should be comfortable and not hard. Since you will be sitting in the chair for many hours a day, comfort is a necessity.
You should also try to have a chair with armrests because you will need something to comfortably support your arms when you’re not busy typing. Make sure the armrests allow your elbows to bend at a 90-degree angle and are low enough that your shoulders stay relaxed.
The chair should be adjustable so you can raise or lower it to the proper sitting position. Your thighs should be completely parallel to the floor and your feet should sit flat on the floor. Your arms should be level with the part of your desk where your keyboard and mouse sit.
The back rest on the chair should provide you with appropriate lumbar support. When you sit and lean back you don’t want your spine to curve outward like it would do if you were slouching. Your spine should curve inward toward your desk.
The chair should also swivel and roll to make accessing things around your desk easier. Instead of twisting your torso to reach something, you can turn the whole chair, putting less stress on your back and neck.
Position your monitor so that room lights, desk lamps, or light from a window aren’t glaring on the screen. The monitor should also sit about 20 inches from your face and four inches below your eyes.
Make sure the brightness on your computer isn’t super bright or super dull. It needs to be somewhere right in the middle. If you notice your eyes are getting strained, try increasing or decreasing the brightness until it feels comfortable to your eyes. It might take some trial and error to get the brightness just right.
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Keyboard and Mouse Placement
Position your keyboard so that the ‘B’ key is centered in front of you to ensure proper placement of your arms when you are typing. Also make sure that your mouse sits close to the side of the keyboard. If you have a pullout keyboard tray on your desk, the mouse should sit on that next to the keyboard and not on the top of the desk. If your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle while you’re typing or using your mouse, then the keyboard, mouse, and your arms are all positioned correctly.
To reduce the strain put on your eyes, you should make sure the lighting in your work area isn’t too bright, too low, or throwing glares on your monitor screen. Try not to use overhead lighting or bright desk lamps. It’s better to have a table lamp on that is situated to either side of your computer.
Close the blinds or drapes on any windows in the room that might allow sunlight to glare on your computer screen.
Don’t work in the dark because your eyes will have to constantly adjust between the darkness in the room and the brightness of your computer monitor. If you must work in the dark, lowering the brightness on your computer will help for a little while, but after an hour or so your eyes will begin to feel the strain.
In addition to creating a more ergonomic workspace to help your vision and your body, you should be sure to take frequent breaks. Getting up to stretch, grab a cup of coffee, or simply walking around for a few minutes will let your eyes get a little rest and allow you to stretch your muscles. Taking breaks will also boost your energy so you will be more productive while you’re working between breaks.
Maintain Good Eye Health
Taking care of your eye health will also reduce the stress that is put on your eyes while you’re working at your computer. This includes getting regular eye exams to make sure you don’t have any underlying eye health concerns, eating foods or taking vitamins that benefit your eyes and vision training.
You can also take eye vitamins to reduce the strain put on them, as well as to improve your vision or maintain the good vision you already have.