#26 VDT Eye Strain

VDTs—comprised of a display screen, a keyboard, and a central processing unit—have rapidly replaced the use of typewriters and other office machines.

Risk factors of using A VDT:

  • Visual Problems Visual problems: such as eyestrain and irritation are among the most frequently reported complaints by VDT operators.
  • Fatigue and Musculoskeletal Problems: Work performed at VDTs may require sitting still for considerable time and usually involves small frequent movements of the eyes, head, arms, and fingers.
  • Radiation: Another issue of concern for the VDT operator is whether the emissions from radiation, such as X-ray or electromagnetic fields in the radiofrequency and extreme low frequency ranges, pose a health risk.


There are a variety of interventions that employers can implement to reduce or prevent harmful effects associated with VDT use.

  • Lighting
  • Quantity
  • Contrast
  • Glare
  • Workstation Design

Operating a VDT, like any form of sustained physical or mental work, may lead to visual, muscular, or mental fatigue. Rest pauses, as recommended by NIOSH to alleviate or delay the onset of fatigue, are necessary. Jobs should be designed so that the employees can vary VDT tasks with non-VDT tasks.