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Eye Strain from Computer Monitors

In 1965, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, wrote in Electronics magazine that computer technology advances exponentially, doubling roughly every two years or so. Moore’s Law – as engineers came to call it – extended to every measure of digital devices, from memory to processing speed.

And while the advancement of computer monitors hasn’t been exempt from Moore’s Law, engineers have yet to develop a monitor without adverse impact on the human eye.

But don’t blame the developers – monitors have come a long way, particularly since the development of LCD screens. Protection of the user’s eye has largely become the domain of the user.

Aside from having an LCD screen – which flicker considerably less than old cathode-ray “television style monitors” – there are a variety of steps you can take to protect your eyes from your computer screen. Protection is simpler than you’d think.

First, look at where your computer sits, particularly in relation to any windows in the room. Too much sunlight will reflect off the screen into your eyes. If there’s no way to move your computer, adjust the blinds or shut off some lights.

Next, try sitting a bit farther away from your screen. About 25 inches should provide maximum protection. Having the monitor sit just a bit below eye level helps as well, by keeping your eyes opened slightly less, thus minimizing moisture loss.

Once you’ve placed the screen in just the right spot, you can work on protection at the space between it and your eyes. The best solution is to purchase an antiglare screen protector to reduce the UV light and glare from sunlight. The best product currently on the market is the NuShield AG antiglare screen protector film. It is a non-adhesive piece of film that slides between the LCD screen and the case of the display and stays in place without the need to use adhesive on the surface of the film that causes bubbles and haze.

Many screen protection films will also repel dust from your computer and hide the fingerprints. However, it’s always a good idea to keep a set of anti-static wipes nearby to wipe off your screen from time to time.

Finally, be sure to keep blinking and try look away from the screen every five minutes to reduce the possibility of tired, dry eyes. Make sure you get up, stretch and walk around once an hour to help stay alert and change perspective.

As Moore’s Law becomes more and more visible in the workplace, and employees become more and more plugged-in, we’ll see an increased need for attention to the health effects of high technology. As this happens, we should all keep one eye open for ways to make our workspace more comfortable.

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