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, Wendy References

Meet The Team: Wendy

Introducing Wendy van Wyk - Ergonomicsdirect Blog

Introducing Wendy van Wyk Our In-House Biokineticist & Ergonomics Extraordinaire! Born and bred in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, Wendy moved to Cape Town in 1998 and obtained both her BA(HMS) and BSportSc (Hons) Biokinetics degrees at the University of Stellenbosch.  Biokinetics was an easy choice as she loves interacting with people, challenging herself, and has a passion for all things sports. She quickly realised that a career as a Biokineticist could offer all this and so much more. Her studies helped reinforce and grow her passion to help people live and perform at their best, doing the things they love to do.  She qualified in 2001 and after an internship on the Garden Route in 2002, returned to Cape Town where she worked as an HPCSA Registered Biokineticist in private practice for 6 years before moving to the UK in 2008. There she worked as a Cardiac Technician and Physiotherapy Assistant and got involved in Spirometry and in Occupational Health.  On her return to South Africa in 2010 started consulting in the Occupational Health industry here. Wendy’s natural teaching ability and affinity with people got her headhunted in 2012 as a Spirometry, Audiometry, and Vision screening training facilitator. She has earned an excellent reputation as an expert occupational health training facilitator with doctors, nurses, and technicians across our beautiful continent. Over the last 9 years, she has taught in over 15 countries in Africa! With a keen interest in Ergonomics, she joined the healthcare team at Ergonomicsdirect full-time just before the new Ergonomics Regulations were implemented on 6 December 2019, and during lockdown in 2020, she completed her Ergonomic Risk Auditors certification. She assists our clients with ergonomics training, assessments as well as product recommendations to improve the ergonomic setup in their homes, schools, and also the corporate environment. She is also the face of some of our social media videos and the author of our monthly blog. She has also contributed to articles in both Men’s Health South Africa and the UK on injury prevention and remote work. Wendy`s knowledge in her field and passion for helping individuals improve their lives through health makes her an inspiration to work with. She believes that we should always see the glass half full and that life is too short not to laugh every day. Outside of work Wendy enjoys going to the gym, loves travel, time with friends or family, and a good bottle of red wine. Contact Wendy if you have any ergonomics queries or if you need assistance in your workplace set up on 066 170 0324 or – she’d love to hear from you! Follow us on social media to receive Wendy’s ergo updates, vlogs and more! Facebook Youtube Instagram Linkedin