Written by Jan

How to prevent strained eyes when working on the computer?

Nowadays, we spend a lot of time staring at a computer monitor. At the office, we work on a screen all day and at home we check our email, play a video game, or watch a Netflix series. This intensive use often causes strained eyes. Staring at the same spot for a long time strains the eye muscles, making them tired and blurring your vision. In this article, we'll give you 4 tips to prevent this.

4 tips to prevent strained eyes

Man working at the Coolblue office behind a vertical monitor.

In this article, we'll discuss the following tips to prevent strained eyes:

  1. The 20-20 rule
  2. Adjust the monitor's brightness
  3. Use software to filter blue light
  4. Keep your working environment humid

Tip 1: the 20-20 rule

The 20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, stare in the distance for 20 seconds

Of course, prevention is always better than cure. That is why it's a good practice to allow your eyes to rest every now and then. You can do this by applying the 20-20 rule. After every 20 minutes you've worked on a monitor, stare in the distance for 20 seconds. Do you have a window nearby? You can look at birds flying by or at something going on in the street. It's important to blink regularly as well to keep your eyes moist, so they don't dry out.

Tip 2: adjust the monitor's brightness

Adjust the monitor's brightness

You can make the screen less bright and increase the contrast. This makes the screen more comfortable to look at and it doesn't strain the eyes as much. Screens that are too bright are more likely to cause strained eyes, because your eyes have more trouble focusing on the screen. Keep in mind that if the contrast is too low, it can also result in strained eyes. This is because your eyes have to work harder to distinguish different things on the screen.

Tip 3: use software to filter blue light

Using f.lux to filter blue light.

If you're still working on your computer late at night, blue light can cause issues. LCD screens like monitors, your smartphone, and your laptop emit blue light so you can clearly see what's on your screen. If your working environment is dark, this blue light is actually too bright. This results in strained eyes, blurry vision, and it can even affect your sleep. Software such as f.lux and the integrated Windows feature 'night light' filter the blue light by adjusting the color temperature and brightness in the evening. This prevents strained eyes and improves your sleep.

Tip 4: keep your working environment humid


Dry eyes can cause strain and blurry vision. To prevent this, it's important to keep your working environment humid and clear of dust. You can use an air purifier to filter dust from the air or a humidifier to improve the humidity. A more primitive solution is to put bowls of water on the radiator. The heat will then vaporize the water and improve the humidity as a result. Keep in mind to clean the bowls to prevent mold, because mold actually makes the air dry again.

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