Monday, November 29, 2010

Is Staring at a Monitor All Day Harmful?

Most of us sit in front of a computer all day creating 3d models, motion graphics, or just checking our Facebook page, sometimes for more than 10 hours a day!  Is that long exposure to those tiny pixels going to hurt our precious eyeballs?

The consensus at this point is no.  It has been widely agreed that using a computer for eight hours or more a day, every day will not harm your eyes from a medical standpoint; but, and this is a big but, ultimately it will contribute to eyestrain or "tired" eyes.  We've all had those days where it feels like our eyes are going to explode if we stare at the screen for one more second, but we just blink our way through it and move on, because deadlines don't wait!

Ok, well that's great that my eyes aren't physically going to be hurt, but what about my headaches? and my eye strain? Well check out these tips on avoiding and alleviating those problems:

- POSITIONING: Set your screen slightly below your line of sight, approximately an arm's length away from your face to allow your eyes to focus correctly.

- REST: Take a break every hour or so to rest your eyes briefly in order to reduce eye fatigue. Go get that well deserved bagel or coffee that's waiting for you in the breakroom, you know you want to.
- EXERCISE: When taking a breather, focus on distant objects to give your eyes necessary exercise. Go look out the window or across the room, maybe even actually engage with another human.
- BLINK: it is surprisingly easy to forget this one, and it is important, especially if you're wearing contacts. Get in the habit of blinking to lubricate, or if that doesn't work, try using eyedrops.
- LIGHTING: Adjust the lighting around the screen of the computer it should not be placed directly in front of a lamp or a window. Keep your office lighting at a comfortable level too much light causes strain to your eyes when you look at the screen. Too little light will make it difficult to read papers and books on your desk.
- CLEAN: Keep your monitor free of dust - these tiny particles can contribute to eye strain when trying to focus on the screen.

Don't take my word for it, listen to Optomologist and past president of the Florida Society of Ophthalmology, Dr. Mark Dorfman:  "It has not been proven that computers cause any harm to the eyes. Your eyes may become tired, or you may get a headache, but nothing that is physically affecting your eyes. We find that avid readers and those doing other work close to their eyes are at a greater risk. I recommend that people find ways to reduce the glare surrounding their computer, as well as read the screen with a larger font size to lessen the effects,".

Even though staring at your screen all day won't damage your eyes from a medical perspective in the short or long term, why not try and lessen the side effects of eyestrain, because consequentially, tired eyes lead to a tired individual.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Foundry MARI release event Los Angeles

The Foundry Celebrates the release of Mari with an event in Hollywood, CA.

Join them to celebrate the release of MARI 1.1 on Windows and Linux.

1 December 2010, 7pm to 9.30pm

Gnomon School of VFX

1015 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, 90038

Register for the event at the link below.

MARI is Coming to LA