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Thesis

Vision saver: The evaluation of a software tool designed to relieve computer related eyestrain by prompting frequent rest breaks

1 May 2001

Abstract

As computer use has skyrocketed, visual symptoms related to their use have surfaced. These have been given the name Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). We postulated that frequent short breaks would reduce the frequency and severity of these symptoms. To investigate the effects of frequent short breaks on CVS, heavy computer users were recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed an initial survey, then used a special computer program to enforce frequent short breaks, and completed a second survey at the end of two weeks of use. The use of the program was then discontinued for two weeks and a third survey was completed. The data were then analyzed to assess the predicted reduction in CVS symptoms. Although the small numbers in the study prevented drawing a definite conclusion regarding any individual symptom, a statistically significant reduction in the overall symptom index was shown. The discussion concludes that although there are some preliminary indications that frequent short breaks may lead to reduction in CVS symptoms, further study with control groups and larger sample sizes is necessary to more accurately assess this hypothesis.


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