Adequate lighting is an absolute must if you want to avoid eye strain, but it often seems that few typists understand just how important proper lighting is. Without adequate lighting, it is difficult to see your work. That’s obvious. But when you have to assume an awkward position just so you can view what’s on your monitor, you are setting yourself up for eyestrain, eye fatigue, and headaches. Glare on your monitor screen is another problem that often results from positioning your computer monitor in the wrong spot. Glare can make it difficult to clearly see what’s on your monitor, and can also trigger eye strain.
Why suffer when the right amount of illumination and proper placement can alleviate these problems before they have a chance to develop?
When it comes to lighting your work space, remember that brighter is not always better. Bright overhead lighting can “wash out” images on your screen. Task lighting, window blinds and shades, light diffusers, removing bulbs to reduce brightness, and other lighting adjustments can all help tone down light that’s too bright.
Sometimes, however, you may have to reposition your monitor in order to increase visibility or reduce glare. For example, a lot of typists position the backs of their monitors in front of windows so they can gaze out the window. But the resulting contrast problems can make it difficult to clearly see what’s on your monitor. No doubt we all would like to look out the window, especially if we’re stuck in an office all day. But if doing so interferes with visibility, it’s a problem.
Again, window coverings can help. So can shielded lighting and indirect lighting. If possible, you can even rearrange your work space in a way that puts direct light at a right angle with your monitor.
Just as too much light can cause problems, so can too little. As often as possible try to avoid situations where there is a lot of contrast between dark and light at your work space, on the monitor, and in the room.
Glare is another problem created by inadequate lighting. Glare often results when light from overhead lights and windows is reflected on the monitor. Again, quick fixes like window coverings, task lighting, glare filters and guards, light diffusers, and repositioning the monitor and the light at right angles can all help reduce glare and the health issues it can trigger.
As we’ve mentioned before, while these changes might be easy in your home office, you might hesitate before making major adjustments at work. However, your employer will probably be more than happy to help you set up your workspace to reduce your stress and increase your efficiency as a typist!
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