How To Reduce Fatigue & Eye Strain On The Computer

Do you spend many hours each day in front of a computer screen reading web pages or other forms of documents? If so, does it give you occasional headaches or strain your eyes? That was the case for me. I still occasionally get eye strain, but much less now since I made some changes to my lighting, my computer screen and the background colours of certain websites.

I have often wondered why many websites choose black letters on a white background. Yet it is like looking directly into a light bulb. I even emailed a major news site, after explaining my situation of course, to ask if the site had any plan to change the background colour of their website in the future, or give their users the opportunity to change it on their own as they do with the size of the fonts. The answer to both questions was “no.”

That’s when I decided to see if there was something I could do on my own, or find out if someone else had already come up with a solution. There are many good things on the Internet and the add-on “Color That Site” is one (see internet link at the end of this article). Once installed in Firefox, you can change the fonts and colours of the websites if you wish. Normally I only change white backgrounds to light gray, and immediately my eyes thank me. For users of Google Chrome there is a similar extension called “Care your Eyes” for which I provide instructions below. That was step one for me.

Despite the module I saw in my screen light sources that affected my reading: fluorescent lights on the ceiling. For my second step, I turned off the lights and put a lamp behind my screens. For the third and last step I changed the colour of my screen to “Warm (5000K).” I imagine the K means Kelvin temperature. This setting is normally available through the physical buttons near the monitor’s power switch.

If you often work in Microsoft Word you can change the background colour in most Word documents by going to “Page Layout, Page Color”. You can set your preferred colour to be the default setting by saving it as a template: “Save As, Save As Type, Word Template. The next time you want a new document, open your template. If you frequently sent those documents to others, do not worry: a background colour is just as easy to remove as it is to create. And it will not show up in printouts unless specifically requested.

If you frequently read long Adobe Reader documents, you can permanently change the background colour of all your PDF documents. If you create a new PDF document and send it to someone, your recipient will see this colour. However if you are forwarding a document that you did not create, the recipient will see the original colour, white by default.

By the way, I would like to be able to change the background colour of this blog. Despite the different styles offered, the text background remains white. It’s just another reason to get that add-on or extension. If you have any suggestion you would like to share with our readers, please submit it. Thank you and see you next time! Charles

Color That Site Firefox add-on:

“Care your Eyes” extension in Google Chrome: Open Chrome, click the hamburger icon at the top-right, More Tools, Extensions, browse the Chrome Web Store.

This post was produced and appears courtesy of  Dr Ordi PC Dr, Moncton, NB.
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