Sedentary work may cause Insomnia, Tired eyes & Photophobia; How to exercise at your computer desk, be more productive and feel better

Do you regularly feel exhausted but can’t sleep? Tired eyes? Maybe you’ve noticed increased glare and light sensitivity? You probably have a screen based job. Moreover, after work you feel so tired you can’t but relax: read, watch TV, play video games, shop online, etc. But in doing so you rest your rested body (at work you mostly sit) and exhaust even more your already tired eyes (they’d been working very hard all day)!? Wouldn’t it be nice to be more productive at work and simultaneously more rested and upbeat during and afterward your workday? It can be done! Fight the effects of sedentary lifestyle and sedentary work with computer work in motion.

This post suggests that eye fatigue and photophobia should be added to the list of health risks associated with sedentary lifestyle – the sum of overall sitting time (screen based work, TV viewing, sitting in cars, …).

More importantly, the post proposes several ways you can set up your computer workstation to be physically active while you work.

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Central serous retinopathy (CSR), Photophobia and Blue light

This post might help you if have central serous retinopathy (CSR), sometimes also referred to as central serous choroidopathy (CSC). Because of CSR Sam (the name has been changed) had severe problems with light sensitivity to computer screens and fluorescent lights (but not other sources of light). He found relief in filtering blue light.

If you also suffer from central serous retinopathy and have issues with glare do drop a comment below, for the benefit of others who are also struggling with CSR related light sensitivity. Let us know what has and what hasn’t worked for you!


Disclaimer: My interest in blue blockers comes from my problems with light sensitivity (photophobia), discomfort glare, and computer eye strain.

Disclosure: You can help sustain GLARminY – at no additional cost to you by giving” a small percentage of anything you buy from Amazon by accessing Amazon here (commission link). Some links below are also commission links, as disclosed. Thanks!


Here is what Sam’s message:

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Increasing Eye Comfort for Writers, Editors, and Others Who Work in Intensive Text Environments

Guest post by Margaret Copeley, MEd

 

Many people must spend virtually their entire work day at a computer. In addition, many of us spend several more hours using a computer for personal activities: email, shopping, researching topics of interest, and so on. As a freelance writer and editor I found that Computer Vision Syndrome crept up on me over a period of a couple of years after about ten years of very intensive computer use. My eyes were very dry and burning; my vision was blurry; I had constant headaches; I became very sensitive to light both indoors and outdoors. My discomfort and poor vision became so severe that I really wondered if I could continue in my work. That was a sobering thought, and it motivated me to learn as much as I could about my eyesight and how it is affected by a computer.

In this article I will describe some strategies that can make a significant difference in eye comfort for writers, editors, and others who work mostly on a computer with an emphasis on customizing Microsoft Word for maximum clarity and comfort.

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Blue light blockers and color distortion: Could there be none?

Saying that “blue light blockers don’t distort color” is manipulation used to convince uninformed people to buy products that filter blue light, but not much and not any more than it filters the rest of visible light spectrum. But to prevent or mitigate eye strain, glare, insomnia, etc. a filter should block either most blue light or considerably more blue light than it blocks other, longer wavelengths of visible light. Such a blue light filter necessarily distorts color!

With the help of a few spectrograms you’ll see below why it is possible to say deceivingly – but without lying – that blue blockers don’t distort color.

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How to change text and background color in Windows 10

Windows 10 has made life of those with light sensitivity and computer eye strain issues more difficult. In terms of text and background color adaptability to specific visual needs it is a step back when compared to Windows 7. But you can still have it your way. Below you may find detailed instructions on how to fully personalize your Windows 10 screen’s appearance to your, eye-friendly colors (anything, to any color). The instructions should also work in Windows 8.

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How to reduce eye strain headache from fluorescent lights

Office lighting and screen glare frequently cause computer eye strain headache, computer use in offices with LED and fluorescent lighting in particular. The light sensitive and those with fluorescent light sensitivity are particularly vulnerable as their problems appear to have the same cause: disproportionately high blue light content emitted by LED and fluorescent lights. This post draws from vision and work ergonomics science to suggest ways to reduce LED and fluorescent light headaches with five different types of blue filtering glare screens.

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How to pick the best blue filter for your light sensitivity problem

Blue light filter selection is complicated. A blue filter may help you with many problems: computer eye strain (computer vision syndrome), LED & fluorescent light sensitivity, sleep disorder, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), light sensitivity (discomfort glare), visual acuity… But not every blue filter will produce optimal results given the specifics of your blue light sensitivity problem. The chaos of hype marketing terminology often hides more than it reveals which further complicates the selection process. Read on to find out: which wavelengths your blue filter should absorb/block, by how much, how to compare bluelight filters…

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Are your eyes sensitive to light … or just blue light!?

Eyes sensitive to light!? Evidently I am talking about light sensitive eyes as in photophobia, light aversion, discomfort glare, pain, eye fatigue and computer eye strain induced by light and glare. Increasingly scientific evidence shows that eye sensitivity to light tends to be caused only by a small portion of visible light that carries most of its energy – blue light, i.e. High Energy Visible (HEV) light. This article:

  • highlights key scientific reports indicating that eye sensitivity to light tends to be caused by blue light
  • suggests a way to test if and to what extent your eye sensitivity to light is blue light induced
  • proposes solutions to help you improve your light sensitivity pain threshold and/or cope with your blue light sensitive eyes

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Less light sensitivity, computer eye strain: BlueLight filtering diet

You can reduce computer eye strain and light sensitivity with diet! Light sensitivity and computer eye strain may be due to low macular pigment, your natural bluelight filter. Nearly 80% of Americans have this condition! Research shows that low macular pigment is associated with lower threshold of light sensitivity or discomfort glare (Enhancing performance while avoiding damage: A contribution of macular pigment; 2013). Moreover, since glare is a known computer eye strain cause (Computer vision syndrome: A review; 2014) low macular pigment, i.e. lower threshold to glare, may make you more prone to computer eye strain. Luckily macular pigment bluelight filtering capacity can be improved with appropriate fruit and vegetable diet or dietary supplements (Lutein and zeaxanthin dietary supplements raise macular pigment density and serum concentrations of these carotenoids in humans; 2003).

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