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Healthy Computing Tip # 426: Make it readable

Are you putting your nose to the screen to read the tiny icons, symbols and text?  In many cases the icons and text are smaller and more difficult to read when the monitor or flat screen has been upgraded with a screen that has higher resolution. Reduce squinting and and bending your neck to get closer to the screen when you make it readable.

How to Make It Readable:*

Readability depends upon your capacity to focus your eyes to see the screen and the actual size of the visual object.  For many people older than 40, special computer glasses may significantly improve vision and reduce neck strain. Reading and focusing is easier when the icons and text are larger.  Following are instructions for PC users.

Increase the size of the text and icons by changing screen resolution:

  • Adjust the screen resolution so that the items and text are large enough for comfortable viewing. In most cases, the monitor resolution can be reduced through the software (e.g. from 1280 x 1024 to 1024 x 800). To do this, left click on Start button, left click on Control Panel, double left click the icon labeled Display (for XP you will need to click on Appearances and Themes, then on Display), left click on the tab labeled Settings, left click and drag the tab underneath Screen resolution to the left--the numbers of resolution change as you move the tab, left click on Apply.

Optimize screen for vision:

  • Adjust the height of the monitor so that the top is at eyebrow level.

  • Adjust the monitor so that it is about an arms length away from the eyes about 23-28 inches). If it is too close, it may be possible to pull your desk away from the wall so that the monitor can be pushed backwards.

  • Prevent reflection and glare by blocking bright light sources, or by moving the monitor location so that it is at right angle to or blocking the light source.

  • Reduce light contrast: namely, if it is dark in the room, turn on lights; if it is too bright, close a curtain or turn off lights.

Reduce eyestrain:

  • Blink frequently.

  • Rest your eyes by looking away from the monitor at the far distance.

  • If possible, close your eyes and allow your face and jaw to relax when speaking on the phone.

*We thank Ray Grott for these helpful suggestions.

The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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