Re: Screen Fatigue

Subject: Re: Screen Fatigue
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 1994 10:14:15 -0500

> Most of us are working in offices with fluorescent lights, running on AC
> current. In the US, that means the lights are actually flashing at 60hz,
> (too fast for your eye to detect, but flashing) The monitor on the computer

> In effect, we're sitting at our desks with two out-of-synch strobe lights
> flashing in our faces. It would seem to me that this would cause fatigue.

Yes, we have lights blinking at us all day, but not quite like that.
Part of the problem with fluorescent lights is their position -- straight
overhead, and almost guaranteed to product a spectral image on your
monitor (spectal image = bright spot, as best I can remember). These
lights are also designed for illuminating bigs spaces very cheaply. Since
most people were using pencils and typewriters when fluorescent lights
came into common usage, they were okay when introduced. But now we are
not staring at the light reflected off a piece of paper, but rather
are staring at an iluminated source (Blake lives!).

When looking at monitor specs, you may notice something called the vertical
refresh rate. Good monitors have a VRR greater than 72Hz. Below that,
most people will be able to see some flicker or other form of image

The easiest way to tell if your monitor is flickering it to look at
something else, with the monitor in your peripheral vision. Put something
bright on the screen, preferably a white background. (not in that order.)
If you can see the monitor flickering out of the corner of you eye, there
is a very good chance it is causing significant fatigue, even though you
can't see the flicker when staring straight at it.

OSHA has a small publication on VDT fatigue, but it's kinda old. It
notes some important items like positioning light sources. I'll see if
I still have it.

glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707 x122
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?

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