Computer Vision Syndrome and the Importance of Task Lighting

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist

National Eye Care Awareness Month is commemorated from 21 September to 18 October 2022 by our Department of Health to raise awareness about the importance of eye health.

Prolonged use of computers, smartphones, tablets or e-readers can cause computer vision syndrome (CVS). Symptoms may include eye strain, dry eyes, double vision and more. These computer-related eye problems have become widespread.

Up to 70 million workers are globally at risk of suffering from the condition, according to a report published in Medical Practice and Reviews, and that number is expected to continue growing.

A key component of an ergonomic workplace often forgotten is lighting. Ergonomic lighting is essential for workplace well-being, and it plays a crucial role in preventing Computer Vision Syndrome.

Improper lighting, whether it’s too little or too much lighting, contributes significantly to digital eye strain. Appropriate lighting, without shadows or glare, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches.

Many people work on their computers in a relatively dark room with just a bright desk light. This causes illumination imbalance, forcing your eye muscles to contract and expand constantly to adapt.

The different aspects of providing adequate lighting include light intensity, light temperature, glare control, and flicker. Lighting ergonomics not only helps in mitigating physical health issues, but it can also improve your mood and productivity.

Using ergonomic task lights with adjustable brightness and variable colour temperatures are beneficial because they allow you to reduce the light to the perfect level of ambiance. Lighting should be pleasant and make you feel comfortable.

Ergonomic lighting affects physiological and psychological factors which influence productivity. Lighting design should provide people with the proper visual conditions to enhance task efficiency. Make full use of natural lighting; use blinds to diffuse the natural light to avoid glare when needed.

The following is a checklist of how to optimise the lighting conditions of your workstation.

  • Position the workstation in relation to the light source to avoid shadows or glare.
  • Monitors shouldn’t be surrounded by bright lights or placed in front of the window to avoid glare.
  • Balance overhead and ambient lighting to avoid a strong contrast between lighter and darker areas.
  • Use a damp cloth to clean light fixtures regularly – the dust on the bulbs can reduce the amount of light.
  • Increase the number of light fixtures in the right places.
  • Use light-coloured paints for walls and ceiling for reflection.
  • Use task lighting and reflected light to get rid of shadows.

At Ergonomicsdirect we care about our clients’ eye health, and in support of National Eye Care Awareness Month.

If you are experiencing eye strain while you work, feel free to contact us – we’re happy to assist you.

Till next time, please stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics,


Hot-desking in a Home Environment

Hot-desking in a home environment (Blog - Ergonomicsdirect)

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of employees globally have started working from home either on a temporally or full-time basis. Many individuals unfortunately did not have a designated home workstation, so they found themselves working on the couch, dining room table, and some even in bed.

When working from home, many individuals lean towards working in a space or environment where they feel comfortable. Unfortunately, most of these comfort zones can cause more harm to you than you think with a proper workstation setup.

Will a properly set up home-office setup help you work more comfortably and productively? Absolutely! However, what if you have a home-office set-up already, but you are still not feeling comfortable working in it?

First start by designating a space for your working environment. Once you’ve found your spot, optimise the environment with some ergonomic office essentials that meet your daily working needs.

An added option to consider is allocating an area at home for a secondary “hot-desk” workstation, however we recommend having your primary workstation setup correctly first. Click here to download the ergonomic checklist for your workstation (pdf.)

 “Hot-desking” is a working arrangement where an employee has no assigned desk and instead can choose to use almost any workstation or surface during different parts of the day. That workstation usually meets most of the requirements a worker would need to work comfortably and productively. Minimal time and energy needed, easy plug-in and start working.

8- step ergonomic checklist for individuals who sit at their workstation

In today’s world, with laptops, tablets, cell phones and other portable electronic devices, remote workstations are becoming more popular. The benefits of hot-desking at home not only conveniently provides its user with a simple plug-and-start working system, but is also great for a slight change of environment and scenery.

If a secondary hot-desking workstation is possible, we’d recommend making it a standing workstation. Click here to check out our range of standing desks.

Our ergonomic products are great for setting up the ideal hot desk workstation in your home or at the office. They provide comfort and support, and enables users to work comfortably, even for long periods of time.

With a slight change in scenery and an optimised ergonomic workstation, working from home can be made easy.

Need some help? Contact us at Ergonomicsdirect if you would like assistance or advice when setting up your ideal workstation, and we’d be glad to assist you!

Contact number: 021 426 2378 | Email:

Happy hot-desking, and we at Ergonomicsdirect would like to wish you a happy, productive 2022!

Yours in Ergonomics,

Austin Harichuran (Ergonomic Evaluator and Head of Digital at Ergonomicsdirect)

Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

Blog - Ergonomics and the Evolution of Office Spaces

By Wendy van Wyk, Registered Biokineticist.

I did an ergonomic assessment and workplace set up for a client this week- he purchased all the recommended products for his new home office. At the end of the install, I made sure that everything was positioned properly, and he was in the best possible posture.

The next minute his phone alerted him of a notification, and to my dismay, he picked it up and immediately went into a hunched over, forward head posture to answer the message. 

It made me realise once again that our digital world has changed the way we work and the way we set up workspaces. I easily solved his problem by adding one of our amazing Ergo flex device holders to his workstation, which will position his phone better and reduce postural strain. 

Office spaces of today are much different from what they used to be. Since the dawn of the 20th century, workplaces were a lot less tech orientated – most business communication took place over landlines and in-person and documents were all hard copies. Offices have evolved from crowded spaces to shared workstations, from cubicle farms to remote and networked locations.

The way we work is constantly changing as are the tools used to carry out work. The explosion of technology in the past decades has not only provided us with new tools but has also changed the way offices look, how businesses organize themselves, and much more.


The coronavirus pandemic has increased our collective screen time, and that’s particularly true on mobile devices. According to a new report from mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, global consumers are now spending an average of 4.2 hours per day using apps on their smartphones, an increase of 30% from just two years prior. 

Smartphones, laptops, and 5G wireless connections mean that work is more and more something you do, and less a place you go to. As we continue to do more and more with less tech, the physical appearance of the office will be less tied to the hardware needed to carry out work.

In today’s digital world, smartphones are used for just about everything. It’s not uncommon to spend hours on social media, texting, or watching videos on your phone or tablet. 

Too much screen time affects your health in more ways than one. A condition called tech neck is a growing concern among healthcare professionals. All that time spent on digital devices is bad for your posture, your eyes, your heart, and your mood. Chronically having your neck in a forward, downward position results in headaches, neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, soreness, and more.

Mobile devices aren’t going away. If anything, they are going to continue to change the way we work, study and connect with others. At Ergonomicsdirect we can assist in setting up your workstation correctly and providing products that can position mobile devices and computers better.

Our passion is to help people improve workplace health, comfort & productivity in a practical and affordable manner. Contact me today on 066 170 0324 or to do an ergonomics assessment, so I can advise on improving your workspace.

Till next time, stay safe out there.

Yours in Ergonomics




5 basic steps on how to set up your ergonomic chair

5 basic steps on how to set up your ergonomic chair

A good chair lets you customise the height, seat depth, armrests, and recline to your body so you’re comfortable no matter what your task is. However, it isn’t always obvious how to adjust these options for comfort and correct ergonomics. A good ergonomic chair should be one of the cornerstones of your workstation. Once you’ve selected your chair, it’s important to learn how to properly adjust it to best fit your body. 

A good chair lets you customise the height, seat depth, armrests, and recline to your body so you’re comfortable no matter what your task is. However, it isn’t always obvious how to adjust these options for comfort and correct ergonomics. A good ergonomic chair should be one of the cornerstones of your workstation. Once you’ve selected your chair, it’s important to learn how to properly adjust it to best fit your body. 

Your first step should be following the instruction manual for your chair or looking for an adjustment diagram online. Once you have that, follow the 5 steps in our video to find the maximum health benefits from your office chair.

Also, remember to incorporate movement breaks into our day and to not sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time.

Happy seating!

Yours in ergonomics,

The Ergonomicsdirect Team

Setting up your home office

Setting up your home workstation

The world has moved to a reality where many people are working from home and social distancing measures require a new normal.  Sometimes, the space within our homes is limited and the dining room table or kitchen counter becomes part of our home workstation.

The desk and chair you are using may not have the adjustability needed to provide a suitable work environment. Investing in the correct home office setup presents a challenging problem, and at Ergonomicsdirect we are here to help!

When setting up your home-work environment, remember to implement the basic ergonomics principles:

  1. Start from the ground up

Adjust the chair or seat height so that your thighs are approximately parallel to the floor, with your feet resting flat on the floor or on a footrest. Your hips should be slightly higher than your knees. The seat pan should not compress the back of your thighs. Adjust the seat back – the lower back (lumbar area) and mid-back should be well supported. Next, ensure that you’re leaning slightly back into the seat, just past the 90-degree mark. Adjust the seat’s back height, angle and tilt tension accordingly and sit back in the chair.

  1. Keyboard, elbows, and wrists

Ensure that your keyboard is at elbow height for a sitting or standing workstation. Forearms should be approximately parallel to the floor –adjust the height of your chair and/or desk accordingly. Your wrists must be straight and your hands in line with your forearms. Keep your elbows close to your sides – adjust the arm rests on the chair so that the weight of your forearms rest on the arm rests. Avoid hunching your shoulders forward. Position your frequently-used materials and equipment close to the front of your body to avoid twisting and reaching.

  1. Keep your chin up!

Reduce the awkward postures of your head and neck, by placing the top of the monitor at or slightly above eye level while seated or standing. Ensure that the monitor is placed about an arm’s length away from your eyes. Dual monitors should be located close together and at the same height and distance so that your eyes do not have to re-focus and your head does not turn significantly when looking between the monitors. If a laptop is being used, a laptop stand, external keyboard and mouse is essential to obtain the above setup correctly.

  1. Break Time – Move it!

Reduce eye strain by taking frequent micro-breaks by looking away from the screen. Incorporate stretch breaks and changes in your posture throughout the day. Schedule work and strategically place peripherals so that prolonged seated posture can be avoided (like placing the printer in another room that would necessitate a micro-break to get up and walk).

  1. Shed some light on the situation

Ensure good task lighting when working on printed materials, and focused, diffused light for computer work.  If the monitor is placed next to a window, the window should have a covering that prevents direct light on the monitor screen, or the monitor should be placed at a right angle to the window.  Glare will cause eye fatigue and dryness.  Adjust the tilt of the laptop screen to minimise screen glare.

Yours in ergonomics,
Wendy van Wyk