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Don’t Let New Technology Blind You

If your workplace is filled with computers, you likely experience a number of eye-straining problems related to your technology. According to All About Vision, symptoms of computer eye strain impair 50-to-90 percent of all computer workers. That’s a pretty good-sized chunk of your employees, and they probably don’t enjoy any of these symptoms, including physical fatigue, decreased productivity, and even increased error rate.

We’re no optometrists, but we do know technology – and how to cut down on the eye-strain that heavy computer use can result in. There are a number of tech-related things you can do to minimize the damage done to your eyes from your workplace computer, such as changing the way you look at your computer display, resolution, and even simply altering the way that your workstation is set up!

Scrap that Clunker
Some businesses still use cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, the huge, bulky things from the days of early computers. These old pieces of hardware are vulnerable to what is called a “flicker” of images on the screen that can be a huge cause of eye strain. These complications are even more likely if the refresh rate of your massive monitor is less than 75 hertz.

In order to avoid flicker, it is highly recommended that you upgrade your display to a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor. The higher the resolution, the better. The flicker problem doesn’t exist for LCD screens. The backlight controls the brightness of the pixels, and it normally operates at close to 200 hertz, more than enough to eliminate flicker. SemTech IT Solutions can assist you in finding the monitor that suits your business’s needs. However, if you don’t have a choice and have to work with a CRT monitor, adjust the display settings to the highest resolution and refresh rate to minimize the damage to your eyes.

Adjust Your Display
Even something as simple as adjusting your current monitor’s display settings can help reduce eye strain. Your screen’s brightness should be adjusted to about the same brightness as your workstation. In general, if your display looks like a giant lightbulb, it’s far too bright. If it looks dark and dull, it is too dark. It’s all about finding the comfortable medium between the two.

If you are reading or composing long text files, you should adjust the size and contrast of the text for comfort. A safe bet would be black text on a white background (the default in most cases), but whatever is most comfortable for you is best.

The color temperature, the spectrum of visible light that’s emitted by the color display, also plays a big part in long-term viewing comfort. You want to reduce the color temperature of your display and lower the short-wavelength blue light that impacts eye strain.

In a Microsoft Windows operating system, the display settings can be adjusted via the Control Panel, while in an Apple computer, the display settings will be found in Systems Preferences.

The Workstation Blues
Sometimes the root of your eye-strain could be from your workstation. If it’s not eye-friendly, it could lead to more than just eye-strain. If you’re constantly looking back and forth from printed paper and your monitor, this leads to eye-strain. Placing the paper on a stand directly adjacent to your computer screen can help remediate this issue. The stand should also be properly lit, somewhat like your computer screen – you don’t want the light to be too bright (i.e. shining directly in your eyes or the monitor), but it should also be enough to clearly read what’s on the paper.

Even improper posture can be enough to cause eye-strain. You should be able to comfortably look at your computer screen without adjusting your head too much. Sit up straight with your head positioned about 20 to 24 inches (about two feet) away from the monitor for maximum comfort.

We at SemTech IT Solutions know that health in the workplace coincides with the level of productivity you can attain. Eye-strain is something that can be controlled and limited with proper use of your technology. Call SemTech IT Solutions at 407-830-1434 today and let us open your eyes to the wonders of our IT services!


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