Articles, Ergonomics

Eyes On The Prize

How to work productively and protect your vision

Computer users know that it’s important to change position in order to avoid overuse injuries to hands, shoulders, back and neck. In the same way, repetitive strain can harm the small muscles around your eyes, making it difficult to work comfortably – and even harming your vision.

With a few simple precautions, you can dramatically improve the work environment for those baby blues. Here’s how:

Follow the 20/20 rule. Take regular breaks. Every 20 minutes, look away 20 feet for 20 seconds. If you’re near a window, gaze into the distance. If you’re in a cubicle, focus on the wall outside your entryway.

Clean your screen every day. Your eyes work harder when you’re peering through dust and dirt. Do not use water or fancy cleaners-just dust with a soft lint-free cloth or screen wipes.

Be like Goldilocks. Not too close, not too far. Keep that screen 18 to 24 inches away from your eyes. That’s just right.

Mix big and small. Working on a long document all day? Change the way you view it to make the text larger or smaller. In Microsoft Word, click “View” and “Zoom” to see your choices. That way, you’ll use different eye muscles throughout the day.

Make sure your screen stands up straight. You wouldn’t watch television at a strong angle. Don’t use your computer that way either.

Choose a soothing color. Change your desktop background color to olive green. For Windows users, here’s how:
At the Start menu, click on “Control Panel”
Click “Appearance and Themes”
Click “Change the desktop background”
At the “Appearance” tab, select the “Olive Green” color scheme.
Click “Apply”. Then click “OK”.

The big picture: Everything you do to make life easier on your eyes makes life easier on you.

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