Vision Library

Visual Hygiene – Take Good Care of Your Vision
There is a close relationship between posture, working distance, desk surface and lenses.  The pioneering experiments by Dr. Darrel Boyd Harmon, and subsequent research by Drs. John Pierce and Steven Greenspan, clearly prove a reduction of stress and improved performance when conditions are arranged properly for near-point visual activities such as reading and writing. The following changes were observed: reduced heart rate, more regular and deeper breathing, and reduced neck muscle and overall body tension.
1.  Do all near point activity at HARMON distance or slightly further.  This is the distance from the center of the middle knuckle to the center of the elbow measure on the outside of the arm.  Working at the Harmon distance reduces near point visual stress.
2.  Be aware of space between yourself and the page when reading.  Also, be aware of things around and beyond the book.
3.  When reading, occasionally look off at a specific object in the distance and let its details come into focus.  Maintain awareness of other objects and details surrounding them.  Do this at the very least at the end of each page.
4.  When studying, place a bookmark 3 to 4 pages ahead.  Get up and move around for at least one minute each time you reach the bookmark.
5.  Sit upright.  Practice holding your back arched while you read and write.  Avoid reading while lying on your stomach or on the floor or bed.  Avoid reading in bed unless sitting upright.
6.  Provide adequate general lighting, as well as good central lighting, at near task.  The lighting on the task should be about three times that of the surrounding background.
7.  Children are more likely to get homework done if they are supervised and in a “family” area rather than on their own in their bedroom.
8.  The kitchen table is generally too high for a child to use ergonomically. Consider purchasing an adjustable folding table.
9.  Tilt the book up about 20 degrees (this slopes 10 cm in 33 cm.)  A tilt top for the desk can be made or purchased from this office.
10. When riding in a vehicle, avoid reading and other near activity. Encourage looking at sights in the distance for interest and identification.
11. Encourage outdoor play or sports activities that require seeing beyond arm’s length.
12. Do not sit any closer to the TV than 6 to 8 feet, and be sure to sit upright. Maintain good posture.  In fact, Dr. Davis says, “Turn the TV off and go outside and play!”
13. When outdoors, sight a distant object at about eye level. At the same time, be aware of where things are on all sides.
14. Walk with head up, eyes wide open and look TOWARD, not at, objects.
15. Try to become conscious of the background of the objects you look TOWARD, be it a person, print on a page, an electric sign, the TV, or any other object.



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