Try and organise your work so that the time spent on screen is regularly broken by periods of non-screen activity. Many of the aches and pains associated with VDU use arise because people sit in a fixed position for too long. There are no recommended maximum periods for working at a screen and in general, it is better to take frequent short breaks than to have less frequent longer breaks. Taking a break from screen-work does not mean that you have to stop work altogether, for you just do something else instead. A change is as good as a rest!
Not only will your arms, wrists and shoulders benefit from changes of activity but also your eyes will be helped too.
Of course, some people cannot dictate the pace of their own work. If your workload is very screen intensive then your employer may have to adapt your workload to enable you to take breaks from screen. In such cases seek help and guidance from the Safety Officer.
Fixed breaks are not usually in your best interests, but are certainly better than none at all. The best solution is to be able to arrange your work activities to suit your own needs.
Remember that the purpose of a break or change of activity is to prevent the onset of fatigue. If you wait until you ache, the recovery time will be longer.
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This information is derived from the Health & Safety Manual and Kit
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