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Visual Ergonomics
What is it, and how does it work?

Glare photo_edited.jpg

An example of a bad visual environment with glary LED panels
too bright furniture and walls/floors.


The visual environment

Are you looking to improve the visual environment at your workplace? A good visual environment is essential for enhancing productivity and well-being. Factors such as lighting, luminaire placement, and computer screen positioning can have a significant impact on our visual ability and overall health. By increasing your knowledge about light and lighting, you can help yourself or your employees in questioning if the visual environment is correct. Sign up for our 2-hour course in visual ergonomics to learn more about a good visual environment.

When improving the visual environment at a workplace leads to increased productivity, reduced eye strain, better focus, and overall employee well-being. There are several factors in the visual environment that can have an impact on our visual ability. The luminaire is often misplaced in relation to the work task, causing glare and making it harder for the eyes to focus.


What are the effects?

Based on research, the eyes have to work harder to focus, it can cause muscle activity in the upper back, neck, shoulders to increase, leading to neck pain and headaches. When the illuminance is too high or too low it can also cause eyestrain and headaches, which can negatively impact our performance levels. Furthermore, flicker or TLM (Temporal Light Modulation) from luminaires can increase the risk of headaches and migraines. When the computer screen/s are mounted too high or too near the eyes, the risk for eyestrain increases. All these factors can often easily be improved and can increase well-being and productivity among the staff. 

When increasing knowledge about light and lighting you can help yourself or your employees in questioning if the visual environment is correct. A correct visual environment can increase performance and wellbeing, by reducing strain such as eyestrain and headache.

Some of the most common problems with indoor lighting are glare, insufficient illuminance and flicker/TLM. This affects our performance and wellbeing, can cause eyestrain, headache, and musculoskeletal strain. When you strain your eyes and experience eyestrain (asthenopia, computer vision syndrome) of some sort, the muscle activity of the upper back, shoulders, and neck increases. This in turn can lead to pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, and affect the wellbeing negatively and reduce the performance levels.

Have you ever experienced any eyestrain such as eye fatigue or photophobia?
Or experienced any disturbance by the lighting when working?


Do you know that the visual environment can cause eye fatigue and photophobia? More than half of all workplaces have incorrect lighting.

And it is not just because you have strained your eyes working by the computer screen. The visual environment such as placement of luminaires, colours on walls and furniture, and placement of work task (computer screens etc.) in relation to windows, can cause you to strain your eyes. This in turn can lead to eyestrain, headache, and pain from neck and/or shoulders and upper back.

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