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How to Prevent Computer Eye Strain

Here are some of the best ways to prevent computer eye strain.

We spend so much time nowadays in front of screens. Computer screens at work, tv screens at home, and mobile phone screens everywhere and anywhere. This constant bombardment of light and different size text can lead to eyestrain which can cause headaches, irritation, blurred vision and dry or tired eyes.

Person Using Laptop Computer

To help with eye strain in the computer workplace, consider implementing some of these tips.

  • Adjust your monitor. When looking at your monitor it is important for the screen to be approximately one arm’s length away. This gives you the ability to easily view the information on the screen, whilst not being too close that it hurts your eyes. If your monitor is not easily adjustable in height, depth or orientation, try a Monitor Arm for total control.

  • Take regular breaks – Your eyes need a break from time to time, just as much as the rest of you does. Throughout the day you can give your eyes a break by simply looking away from your monitor. A good rule to remember is the 20-20-20 rule. That is every 20 minutes look at something around 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This should help to reduce eye strain caused by looking at digital screens for too long.


  • Use a document holder – Some of us need to refer to print material while working at a computer. The best way to do so is by using a document holder. In-line document holders are ones that are placed in between your keyboard and monitor. These are usually the preferred option if you have the space as it keeps your neck and body in a neutral position as your eyes scan between the documents and the screen. The Microdesk is a very popular in-line document holder. It will reduce how much your eyes need to readjust which will help prevent eye-strain, and it will reduce how often you need to turn your neck.

  • Adjust your screen settings – Most people never change the display properties on their monitor. They are options for a reason. Find the right contrast and brightness for your needs. You can also make font’s bigger or smaller depending on your personal preferences or requirements.


  • Raise your monitor – If you are unable to use a monitor arm with your screen to find the best ergonomic position, then you may benefit from a monitor riser otherwise known as a monitor stand. These simply sit under the stand that the monitor comes with and helps to raise it to a more ergonomic height. The general rule is that you want your eyes to be in-line with the top third of the screen when looking directly in front. Apart from helping to reduce eye-strain this will help to reduce neck pain. If you need to purchase a monitor stand have a look at the Vuryser 2 Monitor Platform or the Fellowes Monitor Lift

  • Improve the air quality of your space – If it is possible, try not to be too close to the air conditioner, as this can result in dry eyes and eyestrain. Other ways to improve air quality that could help include using a humidifier and avoiding smoke.


  • Blink more often to refresh your eyes – When most people are in front of a computer monitor, they tend to blink less than usual. This can contribute to dry eyes and eyestrain, as blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make a conscious effort to blink more often to help your eyes refresh.

 macro shot photography of person's right eye

  • Change the lighting – Bright lighting and too much glare can strain your eyes. The worst problems are generally fluorescent lighting and sunlight. If light from a nearby window casts a glare on your computer screen, move your monitor and/or close the shades. Change the lighting around you to reduce the effect on your screen.


The tips above will certainly help with improving your eyes, but don’t forget to look after the rest of your body!

If you’re willing, and your schedule allows, challenge yourself to not only look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes, but to also get up and move around. Stand to make a phone call, stretch to file paperwork, stroll to grab a cup of coffee.

The point is; just get moving! Not only will moving around reduce eye strain, but it keeps you active during an otherwise sedentary period, increasing alertness and leading to higher productivity.

You only have one set of eyes so remember to look after them. Utilise a document holder , and a monitor arm or monitor stand (Check out our ‘Monitor‘ category for all types of monitor accessories) and try to implement some of these ideas and practices in your day-to-day life.

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