Eyeball-aches, Neck-aches, and Headaches, Oh My!

There are a ton of people who complain about pain in their eyes, necks, and heads, and even more people who decide to ignore it. When we experience pain, our bodies are telling us that something needs to change. And often times, there are some simple solutions, especially to our workspaces, that can reduce this pain. 

How many of us put any real thought into where we place our lamps and light fixtures and where we place ourselves to work on the computer or to read a book? How many of us realize that lighting could be the culprit of some of our aches and pain? Check out the following problems and the corresponding solutions you can readily employ below:

  1. You sit by a window and experience a glare on your computer screen that makes you squint and lean forward.
    • In order to get the glare off the screen, you want the monitor at a 90 deg angle to the window. 
    • When the monitor is placed directly in front of a window or bright light source, it creates contrast problems that can make it difficult for you to see your work.
    • When the monitor is placed opposite to the window, that glare from outside is going to bounce off your monitor. 
  2. You do not sit by a window, but you still experience a glare on your computer screen that makes you squint and lean forward.
    • Make sure that the overhead office lights are running parallel to your eyesight, or perpendicular to your screen. 
    • Try to place your monitor directly underneath those lights as well. 
  3. When you switch between typing and writing, you feel like your eyes take a while to adjust. 
    • Is your screen a lot brighter than your desk surface? If so, you might need stronger lighting in the room as a whole.
    • Some people like having a lamp close to their computer and documents, but that can produce a glare as well, especially if you can somehow see the naked bulb from where you are sitting. Consider using a floor lamp instead of a desk lamp, and if you continue using the desk lamp, move it so that you cannot see the naked bulb from where you are sitting.
  4. Given the office situation, I do not think I can employ any or all of these suggested changes. 
    •  Consider getting a glare filter that you can attach to the surface of your monitor.

For more information, visit Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)'s Computer Workstation eTool. 

Were you able to make any adjustments to your work space? Did you feel less pain at the end of your day/week?