Mar. 01, 2011

Job Sight

March is Save Your Vision Month, and the American Optometric Association (AOA) encourages Americans to prevent workplace eyestrain by following some easy and important steps.

Nearly half of adults—46 percent—spend five or more hours a day using a computer or a PDA (personal digital assistant), according to the AOA’s American Eye-Q® online survey of 1,000 Americans 18 and older. And while technology can make our lives simpler in some ways, prolonged use of these devices may lead to symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS), such as eyestrain, dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, and loss of focus.

The AOA encourages all tech users to follow these recommendations, which will go a long way in keeping productivity up and discomfort down while surfing the Web, editing a document, or sending an e-mail:

  • Give It a Rest: Remember the 20-20-20 rule. At least every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
  • Size Up. Small screens usually favor tiny type that challenges your vision. Instead of bringing the screen closer to your eyes, try increasing the type’s font size.
  • Sharpen Up. Adjust the brightness of the screen to a comfortable intensity, neither too bright nor too dim.
  • Reduce Glare. This tactic can make a bigger difference than increasing the font size. Try to make sure lighting is not directly behind your head or in front of you.
  • Look Down. It’s easier on your eyes to focus on reading material below eye level, so position your computer monitor or hand-held device slightly below eye level.

—Excerpted with permission from the March 2, 2010, AOA media advisory.

For additional information on eye safety in the workplace, visit the AOA Web site at


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