Tip 1017: Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 24, verse 18

Other than your mind, one (or two) of your most valuable assets are your eyes.  It’s impossible to overestimate the importance of good vision.  All CAD users need to take definite steps to preserve and protect their eyesight.

One of the occupational hazards of operating CAD software on a daily basis is eyestrain.  Eyestrain can lead to headaches, stress, and other symptoms.  One thing you can do to bring relief to your eyes is to follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, focus your vision on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Here are some great tips from the UCLA Ergonomics website:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break and look 20 feet away to rest your eyes.
  • Remember to blink and breathe while you work. Blinking is critical to keep your eyes lubricated. Breathing can help you stay relaxed.
  • Keep your screen clean. If you use a glare reduction filter, remove it and clean both the filter and the screen.
  • Select a high quality glare reduction filter. Circular polarized models are considered the most effective. The AOA has a listing of recommended glare reduction filters.
  • Reduce glare on your screen by eliminating or reducing overhead, direct lighting, covering windows with blinds or shades, and eliminating reflective surfaces.
  • Select a high quality monitor with at least a 70 Hz refresh rate, 800 by 600 resolution, and dot pitch .28 mm or lower.
  • Set the size of the font about three times the size required for normal reading. Test this by moving three times the distance you sit from your screen and see if you can still read the text.
  • Set up your work within easy viewing distance and position to avoid glare. The most frequently viewed items should be directly in front of you.
  • Use glasses designed for the intermediate zone of your vision.
  • Select eyeglass frames that optimize the viewing area for VDT work.
  • Have regular eye check-ups, especially if the computer bothers your eyes.

Here are some links to more information for minimizing eyestrain, including some software tools to remind you to take a break every 20 minutes:




Protect your vision… and Keep on CADDing!   🙂


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