Dr. Jeffrey Anshel offers the following suggestions for making computer work easier on the workers’ eyes:
1. Lower the monitor. According to Anshel, whether we’re looking at a computer screen or a newspaper, when we read, our eyes naturally turn in and turn down; a slightly lowered monitor means the worker isn’t forcing him or herself to look up.
2. Watch out for glare. Anshel recommends angling the monitor back somewhat to try to make the face of the monitor perpendicular to glare.
3. Address the lighting. Most offices are designed for paper, says Anshel, indicating that paper, unlike computer monitors, isn’t back-lit and needs illumination. But when computers and paper share the same space, consideration needs to be made for the fact that monitors are also a light source.
4. Tool with the brightness. Anshel indicates that, while monitors might look snazzier in the showroom with their brightness controls set all the way to high, lighting in the workplace is different. Plus if natural light is a factor, a comfortable brightness setting might change for a worker throughout the day.
5. Older workers normally need more light. Anshel also notes that workers with cataracts tend to work most effectively, oddly enough, with white letters on a black background rather than the traditional black on white.
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2005-02-23.