Ergonomics Physical Health

6 Simple Steps to Reduce Eyestrain

Eye strain is having blurred vision and irritated eyes. It is caused by looking at a screen for long periods without focusing periodically at distance objects. During my 1 year at Renesas IT department, I had to face the computer screen for long hours for I was a programmer / database admin. Sadly, my company could not afford to provide everyone the best in eye care and so being the new guy there, I was given a curved, bulky monitor to use.

Luckily for my eyes, the gents washroom had a beautiful view. It was facing the landing strip of the state’s international airport. I enjoyed the sight of planes landing and taking off during my days in the company. Thanks to that, I never experienced eyestrain before. Anyways, I did some research and came up with several pointers that we should know about eyestrain.

To reduce eyestrain :

  1. Take a break
  2. Try to find a place where you can get a good view of nature, flora and fauna. It maybe the smoking room overlooking the parking lot or the window at the department across that overlooks the sea. Marvel at the building architectures in front of you. Take a 5 minute walk, or lean back and close your eyes for a moment and think of palm trees, sea breeze on the skin, sunset and being fed grapes by Jessica Alba / Patrick Dempsey. Just focus on something else other than the computer screen.

  3. Keep it moist
  4. Blink more to keep your eyes lubricated. Use artificial eye drops if needed. I wore contact lens to office all the time and kept a small bottle of moisturizer to maintain hydration in my eyes.

  5. Monitor
  6. Stretch out both arms. That is the ideal length of the monitor from the eyes. If you have a tendency to bend forward to read, increase the font size.

    Internet Explorer

    1. Select View.
    2. Point to Text Size.


    1. Select View.
    2. Select Text Size.
    3. Point to Increase.

    If you have to hunch to read, adjust it higher. If it is not adjustable, stack hardcover books to increase the height. If you have to look higher than eye-level to read, get a new table.

  7. Keyboard
  8. My keyboard is directly in front of my monitor. It helps when I need to find a key fast. I know of computer tables where there is a slider made for the keyboard. It is not ergonomic friendly and it will strain your neck and eyes. Put it on top of the table, as near to the monitor as possible.

  9. Papers
  10. Keep reference materials as close to the monitor as possible. A document holder that holds it at eye-level with the monitor is best.

  11. Brightness and glare
  12. Watch out for direct glare. Direct glare involves a light source shining directly into the eyes like ceiling lights, task lights, or bright windows. Reflection from the monitor is also considered strenuous. The best is to have the glares at the east or west side of the workstation. Blinds and shades should do the trick. Adjust the contrast and brightness on the monitor to a level that’s comfortable while making sure that the letters on the screen are easy to read.

These few simple adjustments could help save your eyes. =)

4 replies on “6 Simple Steps to Reduce Eyestrain”

Thanks, this is interesting, ive recently started working at a computer for long periods of time, and instinctivly take breaks to focus my eyes outside on tree’s architeture as you perscribe, and it works quite well, how often should you take these breaks though?

alec: great! to make sure that you take breaks consistently, drink water continuously as often as possible.

Let the urge to go to the toilet be a natural ‘alarm clock’ for breaks.


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