Problem: Pain at base of skull or back of the head
Cause: Working with chin tilted up causing constant tension in posterior neck muscles:
Solution: Adjust screen height so top of screen is level with eyebrows so you are looking approx 15° down to the centre of the screen. This relaxes the posterior neck muscles.
Cause: Unconciously grinding teeth or holding a tight jaw when concentrating hard.
Solution: Try to recognise this and relax your jaw as you work – don't let your teeth touch.
Cause: Working with 'poking chin posture' (see image) – head sliding forwards while concentrating, often unconciously or to read screen text or documents.
Solution: Always think about keeping your chin down with your head back, let gravity do the work instead of your neck!
Solution: Tilt bottom of screen upwards so screen is directly looking at your face not your chest and adjust brightness and font so you can read letters easily without the need to lean forward.
Solution: Position documents on raised central platform (e.g Microdesk) above the keyboard eliminating looking down at documents flat on the desk.
Problem: Frontal head pain
Causes: Eye strain, dehydration, stress or hyperventilation
Solution: Check on other possible eye discomfort causes, dehydration and stress factors. Hyperventilation means your breathing patterns are poor and you need to be trained on correcting this very important function. Think about Deep Vs shallow breathing.
Problem: Eyes may become itchy, tired, blood shot or you may have problems with focusing.
Cause: Incorrect eye glasses
Solution: Visit your optometrist for assessment. You might find having a separate pair of glasses for computer work only works well.
Cause: Screen position incorrect (see image)
Solution: Screen should be at arms length from your body. The top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows, and the bottom of the screen tilted slightly upwards. This ensures the eyelid is partially covering the eyeball and the blink action will moisten the eye.
Cause: Working for long periods without a break from focusing on the screen.
Solution: Good work habits of looking away from the screen and focusing on a distant object every 5 minutes for a few seconds relaxes the eye focus muscles. Also consciously blink the eye lid and move the eyeball side to side and up and down each hour. There are some suggested eye exercises on the 'Helpful Exercises' page .
It is advisable to consult your Doctor if symptoms do not change in a 48 hour period and after you have attempted to make work place changes.