Ergonomics is the study of people’s efficiency in their work environment to optimize performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
Computer ergonomics addresses ways to optimize computer workspaces to reduce the risk of eye strain and discomfort, headache, and neck and back pain.
Visual ergonomics aims to create environments that optimize the relationship between an individual’s visual capabilities, the task, and the environment.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Computer Ergonomics Tips:
1. Sit so your head and neck are upright, not bent down or tilted back or forward.
2. Face your computer screen directly. Avoid viewing your screen with your head turned or your back twisted.
3. Keep your elbows comfortably close to your body.
4. Use a chair that provides support for your lower back.
5. Keep your mouse close to the keyboard so you don’t have to reach for it.
6. Position your computer display so the top of the screen is at or slightly below eye level.
7. Adjust the position of your computer screen to prevent reflections from overhead and outdoor lighting.
8. Position your monitor close enough to comfortably read text without leaning forward.
If you wear multifocal lenses, you should be able to comfortably view your computer screen without tilting your head back. Consider computer glasses if you experience eye strain during computer use.
These are good suggestions but remember prolonged computer work — even at an ideal workstation — is stressful to your eyes and body. Move away from your computer for short breaks at least every 20 to 30 minutes