Insufficient lighting brings about a slew of ergonomic issues, whether at work or at home, such as back pains, neck pains, and computer vision syndrome (CVS). If you often find yourself experiencing headaches, dry eyes, or blurred vision from computer use, chances are optimising your lighting ergonomics at your table can improve the problem significantly. In fact, lightings are a key desk element!
Overview of optimal lighting ergonomics
Here are some critical factors to note when assessing your lighting ergonomics at your desk:
- Is the colour temperature appropriate for your task?
- Is there sufficient contrast between the background and task?
- Is there excessive glare from your computer screen?
- Are the unwanted shadows and dark spots that you can eliminate?
- Is there enough lighting to complete your task without having to strain your eyes?
To help you assess and address your lighting ergonomics, we have compiled a 5-step easy guide to achieve so.
Step 1: Ensure that there is enough lighting
Whether you are working or studying, ensuring that there your space is well-lighted is the fundamental requirement for optimal lighting ergonomics. Insufficient or inadequate lighting forces you to strain your eyes, resulting in headaches and eye strains. As much as possible, take advantage of the natural sunlight during the daytime, positioning your workspace accordingly. If not possible, experts suggest that sufficient lighting should be around 300 to 500 lux of illumination.
Step 2: Eliminate any unwanted shadows and dark spots
Shadows and dark spots are a result of direct lighting, where a light source is not evenly spread across an area and shines on a particular spot. Many individuals like to use the computer in a completely dark space with a single bright light, resulting in several illumination imbalances. This results in the eye muscles being forced to constantly expand and contract when moving from a well-lighted area to dark areas of the room, leading to headaches and eye strains.
To eliminate unwanted shadows and dark areas, ensuring that the room is properly and well-lighted is vital.
Step 3: Minimise indirect and direct glare
Glare happens when a bright light source enters your line of sight directly or reflects off a glossy or shiny surface indirectly, resulting in the straining of your eyes. You can reduce such glares by:
- Positioning your table or chair 90 degrees away from windows to reduce sun glare
- Installing blinds at your window
- Adjusting your monitor brightness
- Using several low-intensity lighting rather than one high-intensity lighting
- Use monitor privacy filters to filter out blue light and glare
Step 4: Ensure there is sufficient contrast between the background and foreground
Contrast refers to the relationship between the background and foreground in terms of brightness and colour. When they are not balanced, your eyes may find it hard to differentiate the two from one another. There are two vital contrast types to consider when optimising lighting ergonomics.
- Colour contrast: Adjust your monitor to the point where you can easily differentiate different colours without having to strain your eyes.
- Lighting contrast: If you have ever used your phone outdoors when the sun is up, you will find that it is hard to see your phone’s content. This is a result of poor lighting contrast. To fix that in your working or studying space, ensure that your surrounding area is bright uniformly then your immediate desk brighter.
Step 5: Calibrate colour temperature for specific tasks and mood
Lighting ergonomics is more than just adjusting it for optimal physical health. It is also about utilising lighting in such a way that boosts productivity and mood. Colour temperature helps you to achieve that. To measure colour temperature, Kelvins (K) is the typical measurement used, ranging from 1,000K (warm) to 10,000K (cool).
Warm lighting produces orange-yellow light that promotes relaxation and comfort, mid-level lighting produces a white light that promotes vibrancy and brightness, which resembles natural sunlight, while cool lighting produces blue-white light that promotes productivity and uplifting of mood.
For work and study environments, we recommend using a combination of both a yellow-warm light to light up your room and a blue-cool light on your desk to get the best of both worlds.
Healthy ergonomic practices are more than just investing in adjustable study tables and ergonomic chairs. Lighting is a vital aspect that is often overlooked by many, and we are here to help you achieve the best ergonomic habits for your work or study, providing you ergonomic lighting options, such as our FLEX dual led study desk lamp.
If you are looking for the best ergonomic products in Singapore, then consider TakeAseat.sg. Our physical furniture shop can be found at Ubi and Woodlands. However, all of our products can easily be found at https://www.takeaseat.sg/. Get started on healthy ergonomic habits with us today!