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Introduction to Vision Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of harmony between man and machine. Right now, over 100 million display screen users worldwide use computer display screens in their homes and offices. This tremendous growth in computer technology has created some disharmony between man and this particular machine!. Awareness is rising in the scientific community and among users that CRT's can cause physical problems such as eyestrain, visual fatigue, static charge shock and possible radiation effects.

The Vision Problem
Eyestrain and Visual Fatigue. Scientific research has substantiated that prolonged CRT use can cause eye discomforts such as eyestrain, blurred vision, tired and itching or burning eyes.
What does "eyestrain" mean? Olov Ostberg, a Scandinavian ergonomics expert, describes the range of vision complaints VDT users experience:

Ocular symptoms such as heavy, dry or burning eyes.
Visual symptoms such as difficulty in fixating objects
Systemic symptoms such as dull headaches
Behavioral symptoms such as an increased awareness concerning eyes and visual tasks

Ergonomic studies in Switzerland and Sweden conclude that frequency of eye discomforts are related to the amount of working time at the computer display (Significant increase after four hours).

CRT displays glare is a major contributor to visual discomfort. Reflections from the CRT. overhead lights, windows and even clothing can cause glare and wash-out effects which, "fog over" the screen. This decreased character contrast so that CRT users cannot read displayed information clearly. The result is a marked drop in accuracy and loss of operation efficiency.

Static Charges and Radiation Emissions.
Electrical emissions from CRT's can cause static electricity buildup on the surface of a system A Minolta Corporation survey of professional secretaries reported 15 percent of the respondents noticed static electricity when working at CRT's. Besides causing an uncomfortable disruption for CRT users, static charges also attract dust particles and other airborne pollutants. This can lead to reduced viewing capacity and static shock.

Public awareness of exposure to electromagnetic fields has been heightened by publications by Paul Brodeur and others, as well as recent, although inconclusive, scientific findings. This awareness is causing concern among CRT users that unfelt harmful effects, especially from the magnetic portion of electromagnetic fields, may be occurring.

The Vision Solution
OCLI has developed GlareGuard® anti-glare filters specifically to address the problem of CRT glare, static buildup and E-field electromagnetic radiation. GlareGuard® anti-glare filters for CRT's and notebook computers, reduce glare up to 99 percent, enhance image-to-back-ground contrast, and improve resolution, making images on the display screen easier to read.

GlareGuard® filters minimise the reflected brightness to which the human eye is most sensitive by utilising OCLI's patented, multilayer thin film HEAR (High Efficiency Anti reflection) coating. HEA is similar to the coating which OCLI applies to the windows and instruments of NASA spacecraft.

The process is called thin film coating because the thickness of the individual layers of the coating is measured in quarter-wavelengths of light. Similar coatings are used on camera lenses.

EU Directive 90/270
Focused attention from all display screen users and employers on the importance of Health and Safety requirements for work with display screens and IT workstations.
This EU Directive became law in Europe on 1st January 1993 and required full implementation by 1st January 1997, with the liability firmly placed with employers to ensure that the minimum levels for Health and Safety are achieved. This has promoted improved workstation layouts, improved and larger display screens plus a better understanding of health risks to display screen users who may use IT solutions for 10, 20, 30, 50 or more(!!!) years of their working and leisure lives.

Workstation Assessments
Professional Display Screen Users should ensure that regular Eye Tests and Workstation Assessments are undertaken. Where the user carries their own responsibility for Health and Safety they should seek professional assistance on a regular basis from Eye Care and Health Care Professionals.

It is important to remember that any ergonomic product is just one element of your working environment; that may help eyestrain, comfort and posture.
Use or overuse of even an ergonomic product may still result in injury. Certain ergonomic trials are based on clinical studies of an individual product and not on the complexity of each working environment. Any use of an ergonomic product is at your own risk.

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