Spending the whole day sitting in front of a computer can be tiring and uncomfortable, especially for the modern office worker. Many find themselves complaining of issues such as fatigue, eyestrain, headaches, and neck or shoulder pain.
These ailments often have their roots in the way our offices are set up, and how we interact with them. And with the increase in screen time at work, the impact of conditions such as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is taking a toll on our productivity.
So, how can you set yourself up for a happier, healthier and more productive working day?
Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
Digital or computer eye strain comprises of a range of ocular and visual symptoms and studies estimate it impacts around 50% to 90% of computer users.
Such symptoms include:
- Discomfort in the eyes
- Frequent Headaches
- Sore, tired and burning or itchy eyes
- Difficulty in focusing
- Watery eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Increased sensitivity
- Pain in the neck and shoulders
Although these symptoms may be short-lived, they can at times be frequent and persistent. Either way, they can have a negative impact on your ability to concentrate or work effectively.
The good news is it’s now fairly simple to establish practises that will allow you to work in comfort and improve productivity.
How to Set Up Your Workspace to Improve Productivity
Use Suitable Lighting
Excessive bright light from windows or from harsh interior lighting can cause eye strain. Similarly, working under low-light conditions is just as detrimental to your eyesight.
The lighting in your office should therefore be carefully balanced to ensure it’s just right. Adjusting the brightness and contrast levels on your computer according to office lighting is one ways you can do that. Also avoid working directly under overhead fluorescent lights as they are sources of glare and will eventually cause eye strain.
Reduce Screen Glare
When using computers, you should be mindful of the amount of glare reflecting into your eyes. In short, ensure the amount of glare is as little as it can possibly be. The reason is simple – the glare emitted from shiny surfaces or reflections from your computer screen can overstimulate your eyes and lead to eye strain.
An anti-glare matte screen filter attached to your monitor can help considerably reduce the glare from your screen. When using a screen filter, Ocushield is your best bet. Ocushield computer screen protectors have a matte finish which slightly diffuses the light, resulting in a softer, more premium look.
Adjust the Display Settings of Your Devices Accordingly
There are a number of simple ways you can make your screen more eye friendly. All you need to do is put the following display adjustments into consideration.
- Adjust the contrast and brightness of your screen
- Adjust the text size and contrast for easy reading
- Reducing the color temperature of your screen. This will reduce the amount of Blue light emitted from the screen, resulting in better long-term viewing comfort
Modify Your Work Station
You can also modify your work station by checking the position of your monitor. Keep in mind that poor posture during computer work can lead to computer eye strain.
Make sure your computer screen is about an arm’s length away from your face. Remember, it is recommended that the centre of the screen should be at a position where the documents are at eye level.
Another way to reduce computer eye strain and improve productivity is adopting the use of office ergonomics tips to design your office or work station to allow a comfortable working environment. Office Ergonomics is a science that’s normally used to decrease fatigue discomfort and physical stress, at the same time boosting comfort and productivity at work.
You can try the following tips:
- Having your arms supported at all times
- Being mindful of the position of your head
- Avoid slouching while working on your computer
- Ensure the monitor, mouse and keyboard are positioned in front of you to avoid straining by reaching out
Take Regular Breaks
Taking longer breaks of about 15-20 minutes at intervals of about 2 hours reduces eye fatigue. Alternatively, you can follow the recommend 20-20-20 rule to minimise strain in the eye and your muscles.
While working looking away from your screen for 20 seconds, focus on an object 20 metres away from you. This relaxes the short-distance muscles you use to focus on something immediately in front of you, engaging your long-distance vision to keep things balanced and healthy.