eyesight and computer screens

Many people worry that looking at a screen, such as a computer, tablet or mobile, may damage their eyes. There is no evidence that looking at screens will cause your eyes any harm. Looking at a screen has advantages over looking at something on paper: the contrast is good and can be altered, and you can make the print bigger, although you need to make sure the reflections from the screen do not get in the way of what you are looking at.

Some people find that looking at a screen for a long time is tiring. To give your eyes a rest we recommend that:

  • If you need glasses to look at a screen, you wear them!
  • Blink regularly. When focusing on a screen your reflexes will slow down, tear production will reduce, and you will blink less, causing dry and uncomfortable eyes.
  • Remember the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away (six metres) for 20 seconds to give your eye muscles a break and help increase the rate of blinking.
  • Keep the distance of the monitor from your eyes between 40 and 76 centimetres (16 to 30 inches). Most people find a distance of 50 to 65 centimetres (20 to 26 inches) comfortable.
  • Make sure that the top of the monitor is at a level at or slightly below your horizontal eye level.
  • Tilt the top of the monitor away from you at a 10- to 20-degree angle. This will enable you to create an optimum viewing angle.
  • Keep your screen free of dust and fingerprints.
  • Try and position your monitor so that you do not get distracting reflections (e.g. from a window).
  • Use an adjustable chair that enables you to sit at a proper angle and distance from your computer monitor screen.
  • If your work involves prolonged data entry use document holders to secure any reading or reference material.  Placing them close to the monitor and at the same distance from your eyes as your monitor, will enable your eyes to remain focused as they look from the monitor to the reading material.
  • Use a character size that is visible. The character size is an important factor since it determines the distance at which you prefer to view the monitor.
  • Make sure your workstation is set up comfortably; avoid poor posture which can lead to neck, back, arm or other aches.

Watching 3D TV and movies

There is no evidence that watching 3D movies and shows can cause you any harm.