Sitting at the Computer All Day? Here’s How to Avoid Computer Vision Syndrome and Headaches
Sitting at a computer all day can be detrimental to one’s health. While standing desks and physical activity can help mitigate some of the negative effects, individuals may still experience Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) due to prolonged screen time.
According to Wikipedia, CVS results from focusing the eyes on a computer or display device for uninterrupted periods of time. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, redness in the eyes, eye strain, fatigue, dry eyes, and difficulty refocusing the eyes.
To avoid headaches associated with prolonged screen time, here are eight tips individuals can follow:
1. Move your monitor back.
If your monitor is too close to your eyes, the brightness can cause a headache. To determine the proper distance, sit back in your chair and reach out to touch your monitor. If you can touch it, move it out of reach, but keep it close enough so you aren’t straining to read the screen.
2. Don’t hold mobile devices close to your eyes.
Holding mobile devices close to your eyes can cause headaches due to prolonged use. Make your font bigger and turn down the display brightness. Make an effort to hold them away from your eyes as much as possible.
3. Take 20-second breaks every 20 minutes.
Staring at something so close for hours immerses an individual into the environment, causing a negative impact on vision. It can cause eye strain and headaches. To avoid this, follow the 20/20 rule and take short breaks every 20 minutes and focus on something in the distance for 20 seconds.
4. Move your computer away from windows.
Glare caused by sunlight hitting a computer screen causes eyestrain and ultimately leads to a headache. Relocate workstations away from windows or use an adjustable blind. Anti-glare screen covers are also available.
5. Schedule routine appointments with your optometrist.
Scheduling annual eye exams is important for all individuals. It becomes even more critical for those who work in front of computer screens daily. An eye exam helps prevent problems from becoming severe and resulting in headaches. Think of it as routine preventative maintenance.
6. Properly light your work area.
Lighting work areas is essential. Desk and floor lamps are a good idea. Direct lighting pointed in an individual’s line of vision causes discomfort and ultimately leads to headaches. Indirect lighting is the way to go.
7. Modify display settings.
Modifying display settings reduces eye strain and fatigue. Turn down the brightness so it’s at the same level as lighting in the work area. There’s no need for displays to be brighter than the environment.
8. Adjust display height.
An optimal display height position limits eye strain, and it is around five inches below the natural line of sight.
In conclusion, sitting at a computer all day can lead to headaches and Computer Vision Syndrome. To minimize the negative effects of prolonged screen time, individuals should implement the aforementioned tips. Regular breaks, proper lighting, and optimal screen settings are essential for a headache-free work environment.