It’s the beginning of November and reading week is close. Over the past two
months, you might have experienced some symptoms while staring at your computer’s screens for hours on end. These symptoms include: headaches, dry or watery eyes, blurred vision, sore neck, difficulty concentrating, and it can also be described as Eye Strain or Screen fatigue. As university students, we are constantly looking at screens, whether it is our phone, from watching tv, and using the computer for our online classes. This can be annoying for us as students because the amount of time we spend looking at screens, since it is something we must do to progress in class. We can not escape it unfortunately, but we can find different strategies to cope with these symptoms that come with online classes.
With reading week coming, it will give us time to catch up, recuperate our bodies and our minds. It is important that you take this time not only to catch up on assignments but to reduce the amount of screen time you have been spending because of these online classes. Knowing how to take care of yourself during reading week is key. This break will allow you to recover but also prepare for the second half of this semester. Sometimes as students we get stuck in a routine that seems unbreakable, but with reading week it gives you the chance to fix those routines. Especially if you have been experiencing screen fatigue due to the number of classes you have each day. It also allows us as students to use these tips and tricks below to find a comfortable
way to use our computers.
Here are some tips and tricks to combat Screen Fatigue:
- Take eye breaks:
This is a key component when fighting screen Fatigue. Even if it is 20 seconds of not looking at your screen it goes a long way. You can even try looking at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Try to limit screen time:
After having class, it’s always a good idea to see if you can limit the amount of time you spend looking at screens. Walk around your house or apartment brainstorming ideas for your assignment instead of staring at the screen. This will go a long way in helping to reduce the screen fatigue. If your class is 3 hours long, take a 5-minute break from looking at the screen constantly and look outside.
- Adjust your monitor:
Sometimes you need to adjust your monitor this can be by lowering the screen to be below your eye level. Making sure that your computer screen or laptop is directly in front of you and it’s an arms-length away. This especially helps when you work at a desk and having an adjustable chair can help go a long way.
- Adjust the lighting and screen settings
Being able to adjust the lighting in your room to avoid any glares on the computer screen will be helpful as well. Adjusting the screen settings can help significantly, enlarging the words and the brightness of the screen. The lights that are overhead or behind you generally make the problem worse. Try getting a desk lamp to help with glare and avoid sitting in front of a window. There are anti-glare covers that you can get on Amazon or in different electronic stores.
- Blink often:
Blinking often can help, it prevents the eyes from getting dry. When we stare at screens, we tend to forget to blink often which causes dry eyes. Blinking produces tears which help to refresh your eyes. If your eyes are dry and blinking hasn’t helped eye drops are a good way to moisten the eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more when you are looking at your laptop, phone, and tv.
Over reading week Cue Support and Wellness will be taking over the CSA Instagram account from Monday 9th to Friday 13th. So be sure to follow the Instagram account to be a part of the takeover!
@cuedmonton | @ourcsa
Written by: Deborah