This node is intended for those of you who use your monitor a lot. Following these instructions will make it easier on your eyes.

The first, most important thing is that you turn your brightness knob down- on most monitors, you can live with less than half brightness. This makes the refreshes less visible, reduces the radiation hitting your eyes, and lets you see black-and-white text more easily. The correct setting is not when the whites are as bright as they can get, but rather that the blacks are actually BLACK. The only reason to turn up your brightness is that in games, a higher brightness is an advantage.

Secondly, increase your refresh rate. It's worth it, to an extent, to sacrifice resolution and color depth for refresh rate. Above 85 Hz you've hit the point of diminishing returns, but 85 Hz will be much easier on most people's eyes than 60. Women seem to be more susceptible to this than men, but they also have the same problem with fluorescent lights.

Mount it somewhere dark to reduce glare. Direct sunlight will reduce the contrast. Preferably you should put it in a room with no windows, and a dim light bulb, but this can be inconvenient. Put it on the small wall as a window, and put dark curtains in front of the window.

Light text on a dark background is frequently easier to read than the inverse. If your OS of choice supports it, make your backgrounds black and your text some bright color.

Resolution is mucho importante. Increase your resolution until the text is no longer easier to read (but not at the great expense of refresh rate, see above). The more screen space you have, the better.

I hope some of that is helpful.
  1. The top of the monitor should be level with your eyes.
  2. The monitor should be right in front of you, at three feet distance (1 meter, if you prefer).
  3. Turn off the monitor, and look at it. Can you see any bright reflection, like windows, lamps, or *shudder* the sun ? Do something to eliminate those reflections. They are a big cause of eyestrain.
  4. What do you have behind the monitor ? There should be something of comparable brightness, like a uniformly lit wall. Neither a pit of darkness nor a very bright scene (like the outside world in daylight) will be good for your eyes.
One very good position for the monitor (that fixes 3 and 4) is with the screen surface perpendicular to your window panes (if you have a window), or parallel to the light fixtures (if you have neon tubes).
Unique situations will require specific solutions: for example, in a room lit by powerful yet indirect ligthing (like a halogen bounced off the ceiling) you may be better off placing something dark behind you, in order not to have a white wall reflecting in your screen.

Monitor placement is important, but it is just a part of workstation ergonomics. Be careful how you sit: your back will last longer.

Oh, and while you are at it, throw away those cheapass mosquito netting screen overlays: they only reduce contrast. The only overlays worth having, and only in special conditions, are the heavy dark crystal ones.

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