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How Your Computer Causes Headaches

computer headaches west rydeCompleting work or study without a computer is almost unimaginable, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis when many are working from home. Unfortunately, prolonged periods of screen time can cause pain, strain and headaches. Below, we discuss the reasons for computer related headaches and some ways to alleviate the discomfort.


Long periods of time in front of your bright computer screen is a workout for your eyes and the surrounding muscles. The strain on your eyes can cause pain, fatigue and headaches.

To avoid headaches caused by eyestrain, try the following:

Change your focus

After every 20 minutes of screen time, look into the distance, 20 metres away, for 20 seconds. Your eyes will thank you for this short break from focusing on your screen.

Have a break

After 2 hours of screen time, have a 15-minute break. Avoid other screens such as your phone or TV during this break. A short walk outside is the perfect break to refocus you and your eyes.

Follow instructions from your optometrist

If you have glasses to be worn for short distance use including computer work, wear them to avoid unnecessary eyestrain. If you struggle to see your screen or have noticed a change in your vision, visit your optometrist

Poor Posture

Many home offices involve the kitchen bench or the couch. While these may be comfortable in the short-term, they may not provide your neck and back with the required level of support, leading to headaches, neck pain or back pain.

Consider the following when setting up your home-office.

Your desk chair

Office chairs are designed to provide appropriate cushioning and back support to allow long periods of sitting. Sitting on a towel or blanket could offer extra comfort to your workspace. Additionally, if your chair lacks back support, roll up a towel or blanket and place it between the chair and your lower back for lumbar support

Screen height

The top of your computer or laptop screen should be just below eye level. This is the ideal position for your neck. Use a pile of books or a shoebox to achieve this

Take Breaks

Regular breaks and changes to posture can give your body the rest it needs. Stand up, move around or stretch at least once an hour

Excess Brightness

An extremely bright screen can also cause eyestrain and headaches. Glare from screens can also inhibit sleep.

The following tips may reduce glare and eyestrain due to illumination:

Reduce brightness of overhead lights

While sufficient light is beneficial to a workspace, excessive overhead light can be damaging

Natural Light

Try and work in a room with an abundance of natural light. This will have a positive impact on your eyes and your electricity bill.

If you’re suffering from pain, visit our physiotherapists at Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports ClinicBook an appointment, or call us on (02) 9874 8410


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Northern Districts Physiotherapy

Northern Districts Physiotherapy & Sports Clinic was established in 1995 and consists of an energetic team of highly qualified and experienced professionals who take the time to understand ...


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