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December 13th, 2012

Small businesses suffer a larger percentage of productivity loss for each absent worker. When such absences are preventable, it is as frustrating as it is costly. When repetitive motion injuries and conditions—now mostly subsumed under the diagnosis of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)—first made headlines in the 1980s, they were known as “office worker” afflictions. Now that desktop computers and other modern electronic tools are being used in the shipping/receiving department, too, more people are doing repetitive actions daily—data entry, typing, using a mouse. But everyone, literally everyone, is looking at screens and monitors. Reports of vision problems, like RSI, continue to rise. But vision gets less press.

An ounce of prevention…

Technology and VisionToday we will cover the basic methods of safeguarding your vision, and in a future blog, “Avoiding Tech-Related Inuries: RSI,” we will discuss improving your posture and setting up an ergonomically smart, physiologically correct (read, healthy) work area. NOTE: This is absolutely, positively not to be considered medical advice, a means of diagnosis, or a suggestion of any certain treatment. Consult a qualified medical professional at all times.

VISION

In addition to watching TV, using a smart phone and looking at Tom-Tom nav screens on the way to work, when we get there many of us stare at monitors for six or seven or 10 hours a day. This is hard on the eyes. Consult your own eye care specialist, of course, but in general most people should follow this advice:

- Take advantage of monitor technology: Most people plug in a monitor and never adjust a single thing. Not good. Familiarize yourself with your monitor’s (and OS’s) display controls (and Control Panel). On modern monitors you can set white points, adjust “temperatures,” brightness, and contrast, and make any number of tweaks to personalize your monitor—and give your eyes a break. The work monitor you use daily is probably not like our plasma display rentals, but your home TV may be. Every monitor should be uniquely “tuned” to the vision of the user(s) and the environment they’re in.

- Develop protective habits: There are numerous things you can do to avoid eye strain and related vision problems. If you can’t replace that overly reflective screen, you can cover it with a monitor filter/film that reduces glare.  If you spend long periods of time in front of your screen, there are free apps you can download to remind you to take regular breaks and give your eyes a rest. Dry eyes?  Talk to your eye doctor – they can point you to the right kind of artificial teardrops for your eyes.

- Practice preventative eye care: Simply put, get your eyes checked! Consider: Tech advances such as our iPad rental and virtual keyboards put power into people’s hands, but can also contribute to RSI and other conditions in the very same hands. Now consider how you long you’ve been looking at various sizes of screens—and, by the way, are you old enough to have used CRTs? Don’t wait until your vision is blurry to get a test if it’s been a while. If you have to pay for it yourself, do so. You’re pretty much restricted to the two eyes you were born with, which puts them in the priceless category. Treat them—treat yourself—well.

 Whether you’re renting laptop computers for a special project or iPads for a training session, take workplace safety into consideration and ensure that ergonomics are taken into account. CRE is always looking out for our clients, and that’s why we encourage healthy technology practices!  Call or e-mail, or Request a Rental Quote online to get the technology rentals you need.

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