Office Ergonomics


Lighting, Reflection, and Glare

The display screen may reflect light from overhead lights, task lights, or light from windows. The reflections and the resultant glare can increase the difficulty of visual work.


Glare can be minimized by appropriate attention to workstation considerations such as proper lighting. Glare may be intensified by electrostatic accumulation of dust particles, finger marks, or other sources of dirt on the screen surface. Daily cleaning with an anti-static cloth can be helpful in this situation.

Often, rearranging the workstation furniture so the screen doesn’t receive direct illumination (for example, from a nearby window) will fix the problem. Too little light from the screen can amount to the same thing as too much room illumination. Adjusting the brightness and contrast may solve the problem.


The simplest way to reduce reflections from sources that cannot be removed is to turn or tilt the monitor so the reflections are not in the user’s line of sight. Most monitors have tilt and swivel bases that allow such adjustments. If the monitor is tilted downward, light sources from above the level of the monitor will not be reflected.

Task Lights

To supplement office lighting, task lights may be used for reading from source documents and written material.

Eye Care

One factor influencing comfort when looking at the computer monitor is eye lubrication, which is especially important for wearers of contact lenses. Computer users tend not to blink as frequently as people performing other reading tasks. Eye discomfort from this staring effect is exacerbated by low humidity. In addition, many computer users maintain the same body position for long periods of time. Therefore, all computer users should be encouraged to focus on distant objects, to look away from the terminal, and to move head/body periodically for comfort.

Rest your eyes by occasionally looking out a window and pick an area with depth. Focus on something close then a little bit further and continue as far as you can see. Then reverse by focusing on something far, then something closer. This will help relieve eye strain and also strengthen the eye muscle.

Consult your vision care specialist if you experience eye fatigue or discomfort.


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