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4 Tips to Avoid Eye Strain When You Sit in Front of a Computer Monitor all Day

The office is fraught with danger -- between tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and the lack of exercise that comes from sitting around all day, the average office is a veritable death incubator. And don't forget to add eye strain to the list -- staring at a monitor all day means your eyes don't blink as often as they should, you squint at large blocks of small text, and your retinas are blasted with a bright screen for hours at a time. Here's the remedy.

ProductiveGeek recently rounded up a handful of tips for reducing the strain on your eyes. Here are some things you should do right away to take care of your ocular health:

Enlarge text. You don't have to stare at pain-inducing small text all day. Modern apps like Internet Explorer 8 and Office 2010 let you resize text in the lower right corner of the program window. Or try the Accessibility controls in Windows -- open the Control Panel and search for "Make it easier to read what's on screen."

Read it offline. If you have a lot of text to read, print it. You've heard that e-ink e-book readers are easier on the eyes than an iPad, right? That's because e-ink mimics the contrast of real paper, which is far better for your eyes.

Take frequent breaks. Don't work nonstop for hours. The 20-20 rule suggests that you should work for 20 minutes, then look away from the computer for 20 minutes -- lather, rinse, and repeat. If you can work at something not on the PC< this is a good strategy.

Move your monitor. To encourage your eyes to blink, some experts suggest positioning the monitor lower than usual, below eye level. This way, your eyes don't need to be stretched fully open to see the computer display.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Look into My Eyes