7. Help for “Computer Eyes”

Office workers have their share of occupational hazards. People who frequently use video display terminals (VDTs) often complain of eyestrain, pain, and stiffness in their backs and shoulders, and stress.

Video display terminals don’t emit dangerous rays. But prolonged use, improper positioning of the VDT, improper lighting, poor posture, and tight deadlines are responsible for the discomfort associated with using them.

By making some simple adjustments, computer users can protect themselves from the physical problems associated with using VDTs.

To prevent eyestrain:

  1. To reduce glare, keep the VDT away from a window, turn off or shield overhead lights, and use a glare-reducing filter over the screen.

  2. Place your paperwork close enough that you don’t have to keep refocusing when switching from the screen to the paper. You might want to use a paper holder.

  3. Place the screen so that your line of sight is 10 to 15 degrees (about one-third of a 45-degree angle) below horizontal.

  4. Clean dust off the screen frequently.

  5. Blink often to keep your eyes from getting dry.

  6. Inform your eye specialist that you use a VDT. Glasses and contacts worn for other activities may not be effective for work on a VDT. (Bifocals may create difficulties when using a VDT because the near vision part of the lens is good for looking down as when you read, but not straight ahead as you do when looking at a video display screen. You may need single-vision lenses for VDT work.)

  7. If the image on the VDT screen is blurred, dull, or flickers, have it serviced right away.

To prevent muscle tension when you work on a VDT:

  1. Use a chair that supports your back and can be easily adjusted to a height that’s comfortable for you.

  2. Get up and go for a short walk every 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Periodically throughout the day, perform stretching exercises of the neck, shoulders, and lower back.

  4. -Rotate your head in a circular motion, first clockwise, then counterclockwise.

  5. -Shrug your shoulders up, down, backward, and forward.

  6. -While standing or sitting, bend at the waist, leaning first to the left, then to the right.

Chapter 1
  1. Fast Relief for Everyday Health Problems