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What does Screen Fatigue feel like?

Imagine, if you will, feeling as if an invisible force is slowly squeezing your head.

And it’s applying just enough pressure to be annoying but not painful. It’s probably making you feel a bit irritable.

Your head feels tight, your eyebrows are scrunched up, your facial muscles are becoming more rigid, and you have that inner tiredness.

Chances are you also feel uncomfortable in your chair, your body is heavy, and you simply need a break away from the PC as you struggle to focus.

But you can’t leave, as you still have the afternoon to get through with at least one more zoom meeting.

 

Walking to the door and back gives minimal relief, as the symptoms start again as soon as you sit down.

You’ve tried coffee to keep you going.  You have a bottle of water by your side, and maybe you are one of the lucky ones that get to go outside for their lunch and away from the office glare – that glare that no matter how many times you try and readjust your pc, always seems to be bouncing off your over bright screen.

As the afternoon wears on, the tightness in your head begins to build up into a headache, and you know that soon your eyes will start to feel tired and dry. Some of you will feel as if they are burning around the edges.

You start to rub your eyes often; you’re yawning and feel uncomfortable.

You manage to get through the zoom meeting, but you notice that the screen is getting a bit blurry, and by the end of the call, you see two of each attendant.

 

You sit back and try and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, but it only brings minimal relief.

And by the end of the day, you are physically drained, mentally tired and want to get home.

Where you might chill with a glass of wine, spend the evening looking at more screens, and then doom scrolling lying in bed until the small hours, feeling drained but too wired to sleep.

And then you get up the following day and repeat.

You spend your time willing the weekend to arrive so that you don’t have to sit in front of your digital display screen feeling frazzled and sore because your screen hasn’t been individualised for you.

 

It is, in fact, harming your wellbeing.

This is what screen fatigue – or computer vision syndrome feels like.

Your eye muscles are fatigued from the screen. A screen that’s comprised of a bright white background with high colour contrasts and probably a decent amount of glare.

This tires the entire visual system that then starts to deplete the body, mistakes are made, and productivity decreases. Still, sleep procrastination goes up, and there you are, on the hamster wheel of screen fatigue, not knowing what’s wrong but knowing things are not right.

If this describes you, click here to go to our self help page and make the adjustments to your screen that we suggest.

Then sign up for the individualised colour contrast validation tool because your body and mind need all the help they can get.

These are a few steps to improving your wellbeing, productivity, and maybe even your sleep. And all in, it won’t take longer than 30 minutes, but they’ll be the best 30 minutes you’ve spent on your screen for a long time.

 

And don’t just take our word for it.

Read a couple of case studies from people that have found a world of difference when they started using the correct, individualised colour contrast background, for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s missing from your screen?

Most of us will know about increasing the font size if needed.

A few might know about reducing the brightness on a standard, very high contrast white screen.

But how many of us are aware of addressing the user operator’s (as in you) “personal, custom and reasonable adjustments for accessibility”?

For example, the WCAG Website guidelines offer us and suggest Colour Contrast Validation.

But what does this mean in real life and in relation to your screen?

How does it affect you?

 

The WCAG describe it as reducing the discomfort of e-learning material or any material presented on-screen using colour contrast as a tool.

Colour contrast is essential, as poorly contrasting colours can cause us physical pain. This is why some people will screw up their eyes and even look away if they find a colour causes discomfort.

Plus, those with preexisting visual impairments, Neurodiverse and Dyslexic suffer a 4-to-7-fold increased risk of eyestrain and early onset binocular vision stress when using a screen, or “the near or close-up”, before they even get to thinking about colours.

 

So, add some colour contrast that’s painful for them, and there’s no way they will engage on screen.

This stark comparison has been found in as little as an average 20-minute task on any standard, unmitigated for best or optimal Colour Contrast Calibrated screen.

But it’s not just the WCAG that is mentioning this.

“Brightness and contrast” are mentioned in Working From Home Guidance along with fostering user operators to adjust “My Computer My Way”, but, interestingly, carefully avoiding the “why”.

It appears they are simply suggesting this small action is “Removing Visual Barriers” to digital exclusion in the workplace.

They are not looking at the possible long-term harms that an unadjusted computer screen can cause.

 

Screen fatigue is simply one consequence.

There are more.

Looking at the “chain of causation” (joining the dots), 30% of teenagers are still leaving education pre or post ’16’ to enter the UK adult population with reading rates of an 11-year-old. There is evidence that this is partly due to difficulty reading, and often when traced back, is due to early-onset binocular vision stress, caused by too much time on the near and close up and not being diagnosed early enough.

Take that to the next level: The economic cost of functional illiteracy is estimated to be not far short of a £1 bn.

The cost of presenteeism (20% lost productivity) is also in the billions, with 58% of DSE Operators experiencing CVS or Screen Fatigue.

Myopic and asthenopic (eye strain) disease is predicted/projected to affect 50% of the population by 2050.

Effectively we will all be one-eyed with the loss of 3D vision.

This all sounds more doom and gloom, yet the solutions are simple and easy.

 

What’s missing from your screen are the adjustments and additions that can mitigate visual stress and screen fatigue/computer vision syndrome.

Reduce visual stress by reducing the brightness, adjusting the screen, and correcting the colour contrast.

And yes, we can help with that.