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What is Digital Eye Strain?

What is Digital Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain is the temporary discomfort that follows two or more hours of digital device use. A variety of electronic devices can cause digital eye strain, including televisions, desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, e-readers, tablets, and gaming systems, especially when they are used simultaneously or when switching repeatedly from one device to another.

What Are the Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain?

  • Red, dry or irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

What Causes Eye Strain?

Digital eye strain is not caused by one isolated event or behavior. Irritation and discomfort can be the result of many issues. Digital devices often feature small print and pixelated images that can be difficult to read and cause our eyes to strain in order to focus. We may also be using the devices improperly by holding them at the wrong angle or too far from our eyes.  Blue light, also referred to as high-energy visible (HEV) light, is another cause of computer eye strain. It is emitted by digital devices and increases eye strain more so than other colors that have a longer wavelength. It may also contribute to vision problems such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  Digital eye strain can also be exacerbated in adults who wear prescription eyewear. This is because the corrective lenses they wear are oftentimes not intended for viewing the mid-distance range of computers and electronics.

eye strain symptoms

Preventing Digital Eye Strain

Digital eye strain can be prevented by limiting digital media use, but for the vast majority of Americans who cannot – or will not – reduce their usage, there are multiple ways to lessen screen time’s impact on your eyes.

Start by paying attention to your body. Eye, neck, head or shoulder pains are warning signs that digital eye strain may be occurring. Before your eyes feel fatigued or irritated, and before the warning signs of digital eye strain appear, try the following remedies to prevent it from happening in the first place.

digital eye strain

Keep your distance. Position your device so there is sufficient distance between your eyes and the screen.

  • For computers, extend your arm while seated in front of the computer monitor. The correct distance to be seated from the screen occurs when you can comfortably place your palm flat on the monitor, as though you were high-fiving the screen.
  • For hand-held devices, hold the device just below eye level and at a distance that still enables you to comfortably read the screen.

Reduce glare. Adjust the brightness of your screen by checking the device’s control setting. Consider changing your background color from bright white to a cooler gray. Glare reduction filters are also available and easily attach to computer screens.

Clean your screen. A dust-free, smudge-free screen helps reduce glare.

Dim surrounding lights. Reduce the amount of light competing with your device’s screen. Dim inside lights, and when outdoors, try to avoid competing with direct sunlight while using your digital device. Doing so will help reduce glare and eye strain.

Adjust your screen. Regardless of what type of device you’re using, digital screens should always be directly in front of your face and slightly below eye level.

Increase text size. Try increasing text size to help better define screen content and to make reading more comfortable for your eyes.

Wear computer glasses. Computer glasses are an increasingly popular solution for reducing both computer eye strain and the potentially damaging effects that increased digital use can have on vision. They help the eye adjust to intermediate-distance objects, such as computer screens, are available in all shapes and sizes and can be made with or without a prescription. They look like regular glasses but the difference is in the lens. Depending on your visual needs, some computer glasses have a modified lens power that relaxes the eye while providing a large field of view, while other computer glasses feature an anti-reflective coating that helps combat eye strain by softening the glare from harsh indoor and outdoor lighting and improving contrast. Some computer glasses even feature lenses that selectively absorb harmful blue light, preventing it from entering the cornea and causing eye damage. Computer glasses can include all three of these features or only the feature or features that your eyes need.

Blink more often. Staring at a digital screen can reduce how often you blink, causing eyes to become dry. Remind yourself to blink more often, which also helps the eyes refocus.

Take a 20-20-20 break. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Even short breaks make a huge difference.

Follow these links to learn more about digital eye strain, how it affects children and teens, and how computer glasses can help relieve eye strain.

Gunnar Optiks Emissary – Review

When one of our readers asked that we review a pair of Gunnar Optiks revolutionary computer glasses, my first question was “What are computer glasses?” Once I had researched a bit, I was slightly taken aback at the idea that I, with my 20/20 vision, would ever need a pair of these “computer glasses” that supposedly reduce eye strain, and even make the images on my computer screen better, brighter, and clearer.

This is a little crazy, I thought. There is no way a pair of non-prescription glasses are going to make that kind of difference, I scoffed.

 

Gunnar Optiks Emissary: Easing Eye Strain You Didn’t Know You Had

Fortunately for me, I was wrong. Regardless of how great your eyesight is, or how well you think you see, everyone who sits in front of a screen for hours on end will experience eye strain at some level or another. In fact, as a person who sits in front of a computer for a living and games heavily as a hobby, I feel as though I am the perfect example of someone who was experiencing eye strain and really had no idea.

To put the Gunnars to the test, I decided to start early and wear them all day while at work, and then wear them again while gaming at home later in the evening. When I first received the review model, I was worried about wearing some hideous gamer glasses all day, in front of my co-workers. When I took them out of the box, I was pleasantly surprised that they looked a lot like regular eye glasses. In fact, they were quite attractive. With a sleek, sexy frame design, the only tell tale feature are the yellow tinted lenses.

When I first put the glasses on, I could immediately tell a difference in the way my computer screen looked. The glare was gone immediately and everything on-screen looked crisper and clearer than normal. But why?  I pulled out the leaflet that came with the eye wear and got a little more familiar with the science behind them. While they do have a prescription program, the model I reviewed was of the non-prescription nature. The yellow-tinted lenses, however, are actually quite spectacular. Here is why they work:

  • FRACTYL lens geometry solves the problem of a low screen usage blink rate by trapping humidity close to the eye and protecting it from air currents that could potential try the eye out.
  • DIAMIX lens material doesn’t force the wearer to choose between durability and clarity. This special material is as optically pure as it is strong and degradation resistant.
  • IONIK tints help filter out excessive high-energy visible light, making the overall result warmer and easier to look at for an extended period of time. This aids in visual recovery and helps eliminate any “after image effects” that users may experience.
  • I-FI lens coatings take care of any reflections and glare from both sides of the lens, effectively reducing

Gunnar Opticks even has a helpful video that breaks down the science behind their lenses:

 But, Do They Really Work?

While the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model definitely made things look better on my computer screen, I kept wondering how I was supposed to know if they were really working. By the time I got home, still wearing the Gunnars, I realized that I did not have the normal, dull, behind-the eye headache that I usually have by the end of a work day. While I generally credit this headache to what I thought was a need for glasses,  I am now re-thinking that assumption. I can’t say that Gunnar Optiks can cure your ailments, but I can say that eye strain-induced headaches may become a thing of the past.  I continued wearing the glasses throughout several hours of gaming on both PC and console. By the end of my day, I still had yet to experience the usual ‘tired eye’ feeling. It was refreshing to have avoided the late afternoon eye-strain headache and I will be more than pleased to wear them again if it means protecting my eyes and, subsequently, eliminating my need for Tylenol.

As for professionals who swear by Gunnars, the list is not short by any means. Professional gamers and eSports athletes everywhere are singing the praises of Gunnar Optiks and their game changing (pun totally intended) eye wear. Jordan Gilbert, who you may also know as “nOthing”, plays Counter-Strike professionally and has, on more than one occasion, been vocal about his love for Gunnar Optiks:

In game, GUNNARS have multiple positive effects. The improved contrast makes it easier to spot the silhouette of enemies in dark spots, especially at distances. It also help’s when I’m trying to see someone through a smoke grenade, normally I would have to squint very hard to attempt to spot movement, but with GUNNARS my eyes have a noticeably easier time focusing in on micro movements.

Jordan isn’t the only pro gamer who has fallen for Gunnars. Geoff Robinson, also known as iNcontroL, who plays StarCraft 2 for pro-team Evil Geniuses has also discovered the benefits of using Gunnars during matches, as well as casually:

If you’re serious about your game, Gunnar’s are worth the investment. Both the short term advantages, like increased contrast for better spotting things on the screen, and the long term advantages, like reduced eye strain, make it an easy choice.

The Bottom Line

I have to admit I was skeptical at first. Despite all of the hoopla over Gunnar Optiks in the gaming community, I really thought that there was no way that eye wear could make such a huge difference with PC work and play. After using the Gunnar Optiks Emissary model glasses for about 18 hours straight, I freely admit that my assumptions were way off base. In fact, I am pretty ecstatic to have pinpointed the source of my annoying end-of-work-day headaches. Even if you don’t experience any immediately evident effects of staring at a screen all day, the fact still remains that it’s bad for your eye health overall, eventually resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). I would recommend Gunnar Optiks eye wear to anyone who sits in front of a screen for more than a few minutes each day. It is highly likely that these glasses will alleviate symptoms that you didn’t even know you had.

Like This: GUNNAR Optiks in the Facebook Store

GUNNAR Optiks glasses are a popular and healthy vision peripheral in the gaming community. Yet, for all the popularity among gamers, GUNNAR Optiks are also a great visual ergonomic option for businesses. Coming off the entrance of GUNNAR Optiks in the Adobe Swag Store in their San Jose, CA offices, GUNNAR Optiks are now available in the Facebook store at their headquarters in Menlo Park.

The Facebook campus, which as Jed Rawson (GUNNAR Optiks Director of B2B sales) said looks like a mini version of Main Street at Disneyland, was more than welcoming to GUNNAR Optiks with several hundred employees coming down to check out the display. GUNNAR Optiks will now permanently be offered to Facebook employees. With a campus full of engineers, coders, designers and others staring at computers all day — if you see any major changes in the Facebook layout next week it might be because they are working more efficiently and ergonomically thanks to GUNNAR Optiks.

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As mentioned before, visual ergonomics are no joke. Many employers go to great lengths to protect their employees from ergonomical issues to not only save money on health insurance and lost productivity, but to enable their employees to do their best work. While wrist guards are one thing, vision is another. Facebook bringing GUNNAR Optiks into the Facebook store shows they are committed to the health and well being of their employee base. The dozen or so employees who quickly snatched up pairs of GUNNAR glasses for the three day Facebook hackathon this weekend already seemed to be keen to the advantages of wearing GUNNAR glasses.

The Facebook company store is operated by BrandVia and is the only location in the world where you can legally buy Facebook branded merch. Now it’s also where Facebook employees can easily pick up a pair of GUNNAR Optiks, which makes them more productive and your social experience better.

For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: visit https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/ and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook!

Kids’ Eyes are the Future: GUNNAR Optiks Visits Adobe Utah

Children are the future. This statement has been nothing short of cliche for as long as we can all remember. Yet, it never stops being true. One of our missions in life is to protect and groom our children to take over the world from us someday. With all the dangers in the current world to educate them and protect them from, don’t you think vision loss shouldn’t be one of them? With more exposure to back-lit, harsh light digital screens than ever before in history, this generation of iPad wielding grade-schoolers is going down a blinding path.

Recently at Adobe’s 280,000 sq. foot campus in Lehi, Utah, Adobe was celebrating bring your kids to work day with caricature artists, games and a focus on their vision. GUNNAR Optiks (next to the caricature artists and the photo booth) were invited back to an Adobe campus (after recently visiting the San Jose campus and the San Francisco campus) to speak about visual ergonomics to the Adobe team, and their children.

There has been an exponential increase in the use of digital screens among children, at home and in the classroom. While the focus of ergonomics has been on business environments, we are overlooking the screens we are handing our children to stare at, not to mention things like active boards in school environments. What this is leading to is children needing vision correction earlier in life thanks to the influx of technology in their lives and in front of their still developing brains. This use of technology will of course only benefit children, especially with the obsoletion of printed textbooks on the horizon.

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The Lehi Adobe campus is very unique. As the over 600 kids attending can attest, there is a an always present glare coming from the windows. The campus lets in all the sunshine available, which can create major problems when working. The ergonomics team bought screen protectors, but those proved ineffective. Several teams are already wearing GUNNAR glasses in order to protect their eyes from the glare. The employees understand how important eye protection is, which is a lesson they are passing directly on to their children.

Each child was given a pair of GUNNAR Optiks MLG Phantoms to try and they engaged in a game of Charades on the app Heads Up using an iPad Mini. The kids and their parents could see the change in how their eyes reacted to the digital screen firsthand. The parents and children learned about eye health and visual ergonomics, all the while forgetting about the harsh glare coming off the screens because they were wearing protective eyewear. The moral of the story is that any time you are using a digital screen, you should be wearing digital eyewear, even if it’s only for a game of charades.

Will Bionic Eyes be the Next Step in Vision?

More often than not, medical technology is the precursor for consumer tech. Currently, there is a joint effort between Israeli and American researchers from Stanford University to develop solar-powered retinae that will hopefully cure blindness caused by retinal disease. The implants would stimulate nerve cells in the eye, causing them to function and process data again. While this isn’t being looked at as a cure for blindness at birth, it is a step in the direction of science being in control of replacing or enhancing missing senses.

Things like macular degeneration (usually age related and the leading cause of blindness in older people in the United States) are being heavily researched in order to find technological solutions. While wearing protective lenses now, such as GUNNAR Optiks, might reduce your risk for eye problems in the future, you can’t fight genetics. We spend much more time in front of digital screens, which may lead to earlier eye problems if not protected (such as computer vision syndrome) but if your DNA is pre-coded to have eye problems, there isn’t much you can do. Yet.

A team of DARPA-funded researchers from the United States and Switzerland led by University of California San Diego Professor Joseph Ford have created a telescopic lens. The lens can switch between normal and magnified vision. Right now the application for this lens is macular degeneration (AMD) patients, but one could easily shift the application to consumer technology. I can see Google acquiring the patents and putting the internet in your eyeball. You don’t need science-fiction novels to imagine that happening.

“In the future, it will hopefully be possible to go after the core of the problem with effective treatments or retinal prosthetics,” says Eric Tremblay of the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. “The ideal is really for magnifiers to become unnecessary. Until we get there, however, contact lenses may provide a way to make AMD a little less debilitating.” And after AMD is less debilitating, the focus will most likely shift to casual and consumer technology.

It is logical to hypothesize that once an affordable and mass produced bionic eye implant for medical purposes is well established in the market, that bionic eye research will turn to enhancement. Those without medically related eye issues (such as macular degeneration and so on) will be able to purchase bionic eyes to enhance their vision. Anything from being able to zoom, to infrared and anything else you can imagine will be researched. There will be a time when we can replace our boring flesh eyes with bionic eyes capable of things only expressed in science fiction and comics. Until that point though, if you want to enhance your vision without replacing your eyes, GUNNAR Optiks can help.

GUNNAR at Rooster Teeth Expo 2013

If you are a gamer then you know about Rooster Teeth. The gaming centric comedy and entertainment collective hit the big time a few years back with their Red vs. Blue videos. The series is a rip on the interpersonal and battlefield relationships of two teams of Spartan warriors from Halo. Like many other successful properties, Rooster Teeth quickly shot to pop culture stardom which led to a large following and community. This community recently met in Austin, TX for the third annual Rooster Teeth Expo (RTX). GUNNAR Optiks was on hand to educate gamers on Computer Vision Syndrome and the benefits of gaming with GUNNAR glasses.

The three day event featured a full slate of gaming industry panelists and entertainers, with a equally matched expo hall. From exploring the art of video games, to app development and comedy focused panels, RTX was a hit for fans and industry professionals alike. At the GUNNAR Optiks booth fans were given the chance to try on a pair of GUNNAR glasses for themselves and/or purchase at a show special discount. Booth visitors also got to play on the Project Gaems portable gaming rigs. The entire GUNNAR team had a great time at RTX and looks forward to coming back next year.

Be sure to check out the photo gallery below and follow Rooster Teeth on Facebook and Twitter!

RTX 2013 Photo Gallery (for the full set, head over to Facebook)

GUNNAR at the MLG Spring Championship

This past weekend at the Anaheim Convention Center, GUNNAR Optiks once again teamed up with Major League Gaming at the MLG 2013 Spring Championship. The championship not only set attendance records (over 21,000 turned out to watch their favorite gaming clans compete for the big money prizes), but also saw the crowning of a new world champion Call of Duty team. Congrats to CompLexity on their big COD win.

Meanwhile at the GUNNAR Optiks booth, the theme was the 1990’s, a period instrumental in changing the face of gaming forever (remember the bitwars?) The full arcade cabinets of The Simpson’s Game and two-player Metal Slug 2 rode shotgun to a heated and energized N64 Super Smash Bros. tournament. Each day one lucky winner walked away with a brand spanking new pair of GUNNAR glasses.

Other big winners from the MLG Spring Championship were FXOpen eSports, destroying the competition at League of Legends and walking away with $20,000 and a spot in Riot Games’ League Championship Series Season 4 Spring Promotion Tournament. South Korea’s Polt (Choi Seong Hoon) took home the StarCraft II prize, a cool $10,000. As you may or may not know, in South Korea Starcraft II is basically the official sport of the country.

During the show GUNNAR Optiks had the popular MLG Phantom for sale in various frame color combinations. MLG’s next Pro Circuit Championship event takes place in Columbus, Ohio this November. If we see you there, don’t forget to wear your GUNNARs and head over to Facebook to check out the entire photo gallery.

Synthesizing the Sense of Synesthesia

Many of us take our vision and perception of the world for granted on a daily basis. We assume that everyone is privy to the same sights and sounds and interpretations of sense in the same manner. This is just not true. While GUNNAR Optiks generally enhance the visual experience, especially in a digital landscape, there is so much more to the sense of sight that even we cannot begin to dream of covering it all with amber tinted lenses.

Take Synesthesia for example. This neurological condition is not well defined, as only recently research has begun to re-address this interesting sensory and cognitive jigsaw puzzle. One of the most common forms of Synesthesia is that of grapheme. This is where the synesthetes (a person with Synesthesia) perceives letters and numbers as randomly colored. There are also other caveats of the condition that cause distance to be applied to different subsets of numbers and letters, or other spatial misalignment that simply doesn’t exist. There are also those that hear sounds in relation to visual motion. These are involuntary and uncontrolled reactions to reality and perception. There is no cure, but then it seems that perhaps an alternate view of perceptive reality might be preferred over actual reality sometimes. The designers of the game Child of Eden felt the same way.

Child of Eden, published by Ubisoft, by designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi is a game that claims to engage sound, vision and touch in a seamless manner. You can check out the trailer for the game here, and see for yourself the imagery that is presented. It is a little over the top, it does take place in the future and within a computer network I believe. Based on the colors and interaction, this is probably game where you’d want to switch from classic Amber tint GUNNARs to Crystalline, just to get the feel of the true color. A lot of it is on dark backgrounds, so I wouldn’t worry too much about eye strain. Tetsuya Mizuguchi is the pioneer in these types of games, having been responsible for Rez an early version of Child of Eden.

This article in Psychology Today discusses Rez, Child of Eden as well as a board game that also seeks to emulate Synesthesia. Yet what the article lacks is a reason why one would want to smell the music (though smelling is a sense that video games cannot emulate – yet). While Synesthesia is interesting, and provides a few advantages in the visual sense, it is still a condition which causes disorienting and false perceptions of the world around you. So basically, Tetsuya Mizuguchi wants to show you what it would be like if you were on LSD — something that also causes you to smell colors and disassociate senses.

Though we are always looking for different ways to perceive the world. With GUNNAR glasses, you can at least perceive the world without worrying about fatigue headaches and computer vision syndrome, but you can’t see numbers as colors. While the games mentioned above do offer some insight into the world of people with this condition, they don’t really emulate it. Rather, they only use our perception of color, shapes and sound. A person with Synesthesia would have a totally different experience, and the games most likely don’t emulate what they are experiencing as there are so many variables to each person’s particular instance of Synesthesia. There hasn’t been enough research to date to be able to pinpoint exact conditional variables to properly emulate it for those of us with “normal” perception. Hence the LSD reference, which actually makes more sense. Rather than experiencing true Synesthesia, our perceptions are merely tested with a layman level of synthetic Synesthesia.

In the end we’ll truly never know what it is like to have Synesthesia and deal with altered perceptions on a daily basis. You can rest assured though, that GUNNAR Optiks is here to help with the visual perceptions in your daily life that we consider normal, whether they are or not. And if you have Synesthesia, you might want to consider a pair, if not just to make the color of those numbers a bit sharper.

Image: Ubisoft

GUNNAR Optiks in the Classroom

The last two decades have seen an exponential increase in the use of technology in the classroom. While the focus of ergonomics has been on business environments, we tend to overlook the digital screens that our children are staring at — where twenty years ago there were chalkboards now there are active boards. Children are needing vision correction earlier in life than the generation before them thanks to the influx of technology in the classroom.

With the obsoletion of printed textbooks on the horizon, and while technology will only benefit the educational system; these technology enabled children might need some visual ergonomics. Several students at a primary school in Las Vegas appear to be keen to this fact as they took the time to write to GUNNAR Optiks expressing their love of GUNNAR Glasses.

The small group of 4th graders were using GUNNAR Glasses to play video games (mostly Minecraft) and spread the word among the other students in their class. After receiving their letters, GUNNAR Optiks reached out to the school to do something for the kids. While the kids did end up with some GUNNAR swag, the administrators approved an assembly for all 140+ 4th graders to learn about eye health. So GUNNAR Optiks sent Director of B2B Sales Jed Rawson to the school to speak to the students.

“As students entering a digital age, taking care of your eyes should be a top priority,” Rawson told the kids. “You only get 1 pair of eyes for the next 70 years. GUNNAR lenses incorporate cutting-edge technology for staring at a digital screen – even when playing video games like Minecraft.”

GUNNAR Optiks, like many technology based companies, are huge supporters of education and want to make sure that ‘the future is bright’ for generations to come. Through early education and always willing to entertain educational and information requests companies like GUNNAR Optiks are making sure that the next generation of computer uses and coders are well protected against villains like Computer Vision Syndrome.

As for the 4th graders, they were gifted with ten pairs of Paralex and PPK, six of those to the students that wrote letters and the remaining pairs were raffled off to the students. Additionally, many students went home with GUNNAR t-shirts and Starhawk Cases. After the assembly the other 4th grade teachers told Rawson that the kids will be talking about it for the rest of the week.

One of the students told Rawson after the assembly, GUNNARS are “super great because they help my eyes when I play Minecraft“.

For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: visit https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/

Adobe Welcomes GUNNAR Optiks to the Swag Store

Recently at the Adobe offices in San Jose, CA, GUNNAR Optiks was onsite to talk about the ergonomic and health benefits of wearing GUNNAR glasses at work. Set up outside the cafeteria, over 3,000 Adobe employees got the chance to see GUNNAR glasses in action. During May, which is Healthy Vision Month, corporations like Adobe are focusing on putting their employees in the healthiest position to succeed. Adobe recognizes the importance of employee health, which is why they have made GUNNAR Optiks a permanent fixture in their newly opened Swag Store.

The Swag Store, onsite at Adobe San Jose, will offer a wide selection of products. The store, run by BrandVia (who also runs the Facebook and Ebay company stores) carries everything from peripherals to cell phone cases and so-on, generally with the Adobe branding. GUNNAR Optiks was welcomed into the store with a full free standing 32 unit display with eight styles on hand, including exclusive styles not offered in retail outlets such as Best Buy.

Thanks to Adobe employee Jon — who loves his GUNNAR glasses so much that he that referred GUNNARS to the Escape committee that manages on-site campus events — GUNNAR Optiks not only will be in the company store but Adobe Employee Perks is looking at GUNNARS as an option for managers to gift to hard-working teams. Adobe wanted to carry premium products with a general appeal to their employee base and felt GUNNAR Optiks fit that mold

So far, the most popular pairs at Adobe are the GUNNAR Crystalline line, which not only enhances and protects vision but allows designers to work in true color. This factor is important for a company like Adobe, who employs a lot of graphic designers. Aside from the Crystalline, the Phenom Graphite and WiFive Espresso are so far the best selling styles among Adobe employees.

GUNNAR Optiks is looking forward to their partnership with Adobe and will be on site to support the Adobe Swag Store launch.

GUNNAR Supports Healthy Vision Month

 

May is Healthy Vision Month. If you are reading this, then you should be curious about healthy vision month. The reason for this is simple: you have eyes and you use them every day, all day and you are most likely reading this on a digital device screen. The reason this is important is that many people forget that not only is the eye surrounded by muscles, but it has its own rate of degeneration. However, like the National Eye Institute, GUNNAR Optiks is here to help.

Digital eye strain is not just an ergonomic issue. With your eyes continuously refocusing and repositioning themselves, not only does this affect the muscles but can lead to fatigue, dryness, irritation, and other vision problems. As this report from the Vision Council explains, digital eye strain is the most common computer-related repetitive strain injury, even more so than carpal tunnel and tendonitis.  We’re quick to slap on a wrist brace, so why aren’t we as quick to do something to protect our eyes?

According to the National Eye Institute, most people “often do not pay attention to their vision unless they notice a problem.” Part of it is sociological, part of it is just a lack of general education about the issue. Our eyes are responsible for delivering visual inputs to our brains – as if this isn’t obvious. Protecting them and ensuring that they are functioning without strain should be our first concern if we are staring at digital devices all day long. The Vision Council report mentioned above goes on to outline all the issues that can be caused by poor eye ergonomics including back and neck problems, headaches and blurred vision. All this can contribute to eventual vision problems in the non-digital areas of your life.

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So what can you do to prevent future eye problems and relieve current eye strain and stress?

The first step is to get an eye exam. This will quickly determine your overall eye health and if you need corrective lenses or not. Before you buy a pair of GUNNAR glasses, you’ll want to know if you need them in prescription or not. Most eye exams and prescription glasses (including GUNNARS) are covered in part by HSA/FSA benefits. Sure, there is a stigma attached to getting glasses but would you rather adhere to some vague social stereotype or see the world perfectly?

For many of us, our world is a constant series of monitors, backlit displays, tablets and mobile phones. From when we wake in the morning to when we turn off the light for the night. How many hours per day, per week do you spend in front of a digital screen? All this time, absorbing harsh light that our eyes haven’t properly adapted to defend against, can be a serious strain on the eyes. Even with corrective lenses, everyone using digital devices should consider the ergonomics of doing so.

Ergonomics isn’t just about making sure you are sitting up straight. In many corporate environments, ergonomics is a serious issue. Many employers (maybe even yours) goes to great lengths to not only educate their employees about proper ergonomics, but they may also provide you with the equipment you need to have the most ergonomic workstation. This can range from a proper chair, to wrist rests to a new pair of GUNNAR glasses.

Healthy Vision Month is a month to take stock of what your vision means to you and what you would do to protect it. From getting an eye exam, to setting yourself up at work in a visually ergonomic workstation and so on, visual health is just as important to your daily life as everything else you worry about. The difference is, finding a healthy resolve for your eyes might be as easy as a new pair of GUNNAR Optiks.

Recap: GUNNAR at Adobe Day

This past weekend at the Adobe facility in San Jose, CA, GUNNAR Optiks received an exclusive invitation to demo for Adobe employees. Adobe was recently recognized as one of the best companies to work. They were #2 on FORTUNE’s World’s Most Admired Software companies list, and one of the UK’s Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For. One of the reasons Adobe routinely shows up on these kinds of lists is how they treat their employees – well.

The presence of GUNNAR at Adobe’s San Jose location, which houses 3,000 of their 10,000+ worldwide employee base, was to showcase the growing concern that companies like Adobe have for the ocular health of their employees that stare at computer screens all day. Before they could even unpack, the GUNNAR team sold several pairs of glasses, with several dozen more being sold throughout day.  Things went so well as to merit consideration for GUNNARS to be included in the new Swag Store that will be opening up soon on the Adobe campus.

GUNNAR was also on hand to educate Adobe employees about the benefits of visual ergonomics. As May is Healthy Vision Month, more corporations are following the trend set by Adobe in helping their employees find ergonomic solutions for totally preventable issues such as Computer Vision Syndrome. For more information about the GUNNAR corporate sales program: https://www.gunnars.com/b2b/

Adobe Day photo gallery:

GUNNAR Optiks Expands International Distribution

Leading Computer and Gaming Eyewear Manufacturer Announces Major Global Expansion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: San Diego, CA April 2nd, 2013 – GUNNAR Optiks, the world’s leading manufacturer of computer eyewear, today announced that it recently expanded international distribution to cover France, Mexico, Cambodia and the Philippines. The move comes on the heels of the company’s recent computer eyewear and lens technology patent coverage announcement and addresses the increasing global demand for technology eyewear. Expansion of their international footprint affirms GUNNAR’s commitment to become the leading provider of visual ergonomic eyewear solutions to digital users worldwide.

Currently, GUNNAR has distribution in over 35 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and the Americas. More than 25% of GUNNAR’s customers are located outside of the US and Canada;, a figure that continues to increase. The four new partners joining the GUNNAR global distribution team include:

Asian Eyes Optical, Philippines, owned by Marvilon “Marvee” Militante.

  • Ochialli Opticas, Mexico, owned by Daniel Tussie.
  • Custom Arena, France, owned by Xavier Reliat.
  • US Exports, Cambodia, owned by Jack Tan.

“We are pleased to be part of a growing company that focuses on the health and well-being of the modern technology user,” said Daniel Tussie of Ochialli Opticas, echoing the sentiment felt by all the new distributors. “From office workers to gamers, we are optimistic that our partnership with GUNNAR Optiks will help Ochialli Opticas succeed in the tech-centric 21st century.”

“GUNNAR is proud to introduce the addition of the new partnerships as part of the our worldwide team.” Vice President of International Sales, Bjorn Jonsson added:, “GUNNAR continues to look for similarly strong, dedicated partners to expand distribution in new regions. We are confident that the addition of Daniel Tussie, Jack Tan, Marvilon Militante and Xavier Reliat to the international distribution team, will bolster our reputation as a leader in technology eyewear. The quality of our computer glasses is matched only by the caliber of retail locations where GUNNARS are available and we feel that our partners exemplify our vision in all aspects of business. We are excited to welcome them to the GUNNAR Optiks international team.”

GUNNAR eyewear enhances optical performance to give users an immediately, noticeable visual advantage. Tech savvy consumers will soon be able to access a GUNNAR retailer in their country. GUNNARS may also be viewed and purchased on the GUNNAR Optiks online store, with select styles available from these and other approved retailers worldwide. To learn more about GUNNAR Optiks and to find a retail location carrying GUNNAR eyewear, please visit: https://www.gunnars.com/

About GUNNAR Optiks
Founded in 2005, GUNNAR Optiks, LLC designs and engineers computer and gaming eyewear to protect and enhance vision using revolutionary technology solutions. GUNNAR introduced the Technology Eyewear category in 2008 and pioneered eyewear to combat eye strain associated with long-term viewing of digital screens. GUNNAR also offers the industry’s first professional-grade, optically correct 3D eyewear on the market, and non-polarized outdoor eyewear with properties that allow for optimized visual performance with digital displays while shielding the eyes from the sun. GUNNAR is a privately held company headquartered in Carlsbad, California. Investors include Peter Thiel, 50 Cent, Carl Zeiss Vision and Monster, Inc., among others. For more information, visit www.gunnars.com.

If you would like to apply to become a GUNNAR distributor or reseller, please visit: https://www.gunnars.com/international/distributorapplication/

GUNNAR, the GUNNAR logo, and i-AMP are registered trademarks of GUNNAR Optiks, LLC. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. Copyright 2010. GUNNAR Optiks, LLC. All rights reserved.

Official Website | Facebook | @GUNNAROptiks

Packed GUNNAR Booth for Pax East 2013

Packed GUNNAR Booth for Pax East 2013

Pax East 2013 has come to a close – a week ago. After three days on the convention center floor, one finds himself feeling like a beaten down bag of potatoes. If that metaphor makes no sense, then you are in the right frame of mind for how the body and brain feel after a convention of this caliber. Three days in Boston, three days at the GUNNAR Optiks inflatable booth, three days of awesome video games and the awesome glasses to help people play those games better. This was another Pax and I’m still tired.

There is a common trend among conventions – people get sick. And while I managed to avoid getting truly sick, many did. This is because when you have 80,000 people wandering through a convention center, there are bound to be germs passing around. Sanitize those hands folks! Health lesson aside, Pax East 2013 explored new ground for the convention and was better than any previous incarnations of the show. The highlights had to have been the expanded Indie Game Showcase, which allowed over 60 independent developers showcase their wares, and the larger aisles. The show was pushed to encompass the entire convention center to make room for the expected larger crowd.

There is something to be said for larger aisles, and the GUNNAR booth was in a prime spot in-between the AAA game producers and the indie developers. Our inflatable booth was a first, and both restricted free flowing traffic and trapped people in the booth. While this may have affected sales, it also made for a constantly busy and packed booth. There was little moving around space – and this is a good thing. The conversations and glasses were flying off the shelf, no-one was leaving without at least talking with someone about the benefits of wearing GUNNAR glasses and showing off the new styles. While I was there as the PR rep, talking to the media, I was also speaking on the benefits of wearing RX GUNNAR glasses, since I’ve worn glasses for 26 years.

I met a lot of great people. Gamers, media folk trying to make it on their own, indie game developers and so on. Pax is more than just a gaming convention, it’s a family. The atmosphere is friendly, people try to help each other out and so on. There was a girl who brought me a pair of plastic steampunk goggles that were being given away at the Magic: The Gathering booth. I didn’t have time to participate in their scavenger hunt, but expressed interest in a passing conversation. An hour later she shows up with an extra pair of steampunk goggles. That’s pretty awesome and that’s what Pax is all about. Of course, in retrospect I should have at least gotten her Twitter handle so I could have thanked her proper, you know – on social media.

Oh, and the cosplay. As you can see from the gallery above, the cosplayers pulled out all the stops to make this years Pax as amazing as they could. Sadly, I didn’t snap any pictures of all the Lara Croft cosplayers, which seemed to be this years most popular costume choice for women. The most popular costume choice for men seemed to be that of Bronies. There were a few to say the least. The best though was Barf, from Spaceballs. His tail wagged!

Pax East is a fantastic show for fans, for gamers and for developers. The fact that they are paying more attention to indie developers than ever before is outstanding. And let’s not forget about the tabletop gaming. The tabletop area was packed with amazing games this year, including one pictured in the gallery above – The Emperor’s New Clothes by Jonathan Liu.

Pax is always a great time, and it was great being there as a GUNNAR Optiks representative, even though it meant not being able to check out all the new games. I didn’t get a chance to play anything new. So, what were your favorite bits from Pax East 2013? What were your favorite games?

All images: C. Silver

Then and Now: Vision in the Active Digital Life

Then and Now: Vision in the Active Digital Life

There was a time when many of our daily activities required just as many different devices or environments. This time is commonly referred to as “back in the day” by most people, especially Generation X. That generation has been present through the shift from the analog world to the digital one. We’ve changed the way we behave and have fun, yet we haven’t completely changed the way we interact with our digital environment.

Take sporting equipment. As the power and skill of athletes have increased, sports equipment has advanced to protect us and give us an advantage. From shoes that form to the feet to provide a better running surface to golf clubs that correct imperfections in the swing to avoid injury, we are protected. Yet, when it comes to digital – computer based – activities, many haven’t adopted the same outlook on protecting themselves. Do we not think that staring at a computer for extended periods of time hurts us just as much as running a 5k in bad shoes would?

We have changed the way we do certain things, but haven’t changed the way we protect ourselves – specifically our eyes. Sure, this is Gunnar Optiks and we’re all about protecting your eyes, but there still seems to be some doubt that our eyes are as fragile as we think they are. We still perceive the eight hour work-day, or the four hour gaming session as the only time we would need Gunnars. That is just not true. Consider these six activities, how we used to and how we now do.

Listening to Music

Back in the day (there’s that phrase again) we would fire up the record player, or the tape deck. We would listen to music while doing other activities, from cleaning to working and so on. With the advent of the Walkman, we took our music with us everywhere we went. That hasn’t changed with Mp3 players. What has changed is the way we organize our music. Instead of making mix tapes (I used to record songs off the radio) we now sit in front of the computer, purchasing or torrenting music. This is an everyday activity for most people, staring at the bright glare of iTunes or Amazon Cloud Player. Music isn’t just an auditory activity anymore, it’s visual as well.

Watching a Movie

On the surface, it might appear as if nothing has changed in the practice of watching movies. We still are sitting in front of a screen, watching Ryan Reynolds argue with Jason Bateman while urinating in a fountain and so on. Yet, something significant has changed – distance. There are recommended viewing distances for television screens, based on the size of the screen. These distances are based on several factors, viewability and eye strain being two of them. Yet, when we watch movies on computers monitors, as we tend to do more often, the distance is significantly decreased.

This decreased distance, in both watching movies and playing video games, is not doing our eyes any favors. When we sit on our couch watching movies or gaming from the appropriate distance, your eyes are more relaxed and you are able to focus easier. Yet, we think nothing different when we watch or game with a monitor mere inches from our faces. Think about this difference, and how it affects your vision.

Reading the News

Who doesn’t remember sitting at the kitchen table in the morning, sipping coffee and reading the paper? You know, the paper, that rolled piece of black and white printed material that was out in the driveway in a bag every morning. Well, perhaps you remember your parents reading the paper, or your grandparents. Either way, there was no glare from the newspaper. There was no eye strain, except for that really small type on the political cartoons.

Now, we all use our digital devices for the news. From our phones while we’re on the bus, or our computers at work – we’re staring at screens more and more. Tack on the 24 hour news cycle, and we’re constantly reading the news. Then tack on live video on your phone, such as for the NFL, and we’re getting more information than ever before from a glowing screen close to our faces.

Interacting with People

Well, unless you are having someone dictate this article to you, this is a good example of how we interact with people. Not only do we get our news and information online but we have more and more conversations online. Watch your children, they aren’t hanging out after school, sitting on the back of your car and chatting. They are staring into their phones or other devices. Hell, we all are. We’re glaring at our iPads, our iPad Mini’s and so on. Yet again, we take no mind to what that glare is doing to our vision, confused by the headaches and eye strain.

While those of us old enough to remember a day when we had to rotary dial our friends to hang out behind the 7-11, kids are now glued to their devices. There are no long term studies showing any effects of this type of eye strain. Genetically, we will of course adapt over time (perhaps a few million years), as this kind of behavior becomes the standard. Until then though, it can only benefit your eye health using proper protection.

Making Music

By now, you have got to be seeing a trend in how we interact with the creative world. From graphic design to doing homework and so on, we’re using computer screens. Music, has become one of those things that requires numerous on screen programs and editing software. It’s not all done with just plugging in and cutting the tape. Not to mention the slate of musicians that use computers to compose pretty much everything and anything. We’re using our eyes just as much as our ears to make music.

Playing Sports

I think you get the trend here. We’re spending much more of our lives in the digital realm, replacing activities that used to take place either outside or in more social environments. While kids still play organized sports, with video games we tend to play just as much sports on a screen. This is yet another example of how we are stressing our eyes further than we ever have before. There is a huge difference between using your eyes to hit a ball being thrown to you, and hitting a button to hit a ball being thrown to you virtually.

The way we use vision in the digital world speaks to the future of technology and the advances that have been made in how we interact with every aspect of the world. Advances have been made in how we use our eyes to view, yet we seem to not realize there is a paradigm shift in vision. Gunnars saw the world changing and created something to help you adapt to living life in the digital world. Or, if you prefer, you can wait until the next shift in our evolutionary process.

The GUNNAR Knight Out

Los Angeles, CA – The League of Legends World Championship is underway as the best GUNNAR ambassadors from Europe, North America, Korea, China and Southeast Asia battle it out for $2 million.  To celebrate the occasion (and forget about all the controversy and technical difficulties), we decided to hop in the GUNNAR Bus and take our summoners on an exclusive adventure to Medieval Times!

Here’s an inside perspective from guest blogger, Brad “Pluto” Ramey, an American-based League of Legends caster for Team Curse.

This past Sunday was GUNNAR Knight Out with myself and Team Curse, and I can adequately describe the experience in one word: amazing. To start the night off, the team was picked up in the luxurious GUNNAR RV. The RV included three big screen TV’s, drinks, snacks, a DVD player and an Xbox 360 that we used to properly school each other in NHL 13. We quickly realized that none of us were well versed in hockey, and should stick to Summoner’s Rift if we wanted to be successful. The nuances of a stick and puck fell far beyond our reach.

Medieval Times
Medieval Times!

Once we arrived at Medieval Times, we were introduced to our Knight of the night (see what I did there?): the Red and Yellow Knight. We were promptly whisked into the arena and were welcomed by our lovely server Teresa, who was, most definitely, the fairest in the land – we didn’t need a mirror on the wall to tell us that. Shortly thereafter, the games began and while our knight of choice faired well in the outlying games (ring jousting, spear throwing, etc), he fell short when it really mattered. The blue knight was the destined victor that evening, which wasn’t the worst because he was one of our few “allies” in the games.

NYJACKY at the GUNNAR Knight Out
NYJACKY showing off his custom “street” GUNNARS
Let the Games Begin!
Let the Games Begin!
Our Knight
Our Knight in red and yellow

Whilst watching the games unfold before our eyes, our stomachs were transfixed on the delicious food: BBQ Spare Ribs, Half of a Rotisserie Chicken, Potato Wedges, and an Apple Turnover. While the food was delicious, it seemed almost foreign to NYJacky, because there was not a chopstick in sight, and no ketchup for his lonely Potato Wedges made him one sad camper.

Group Photo
After the show we all gathered in the pub for a group photo

Needless to say, the night was one to remember. Gunnar treated us exceptionally well, and our night couldn’t have gotten any better. I want to personally thank everyone that came along from Gunnar to make it one heck of a “Knight Out” – even if our chosen Knight did not win gold that particular evening, we all shared a golden experience together as a team.

And so a great time was had by all. Thanks for the guest blog Pluto and thanks for attending Team Curse and Dignitas!

Good news: the playoffs resume tonight!

n8corn

GUNNAR Beta Tests Tournament Seeker at PAX Prime

Tournament Seeker

PAX Prime is this weekend in Seattle, Washington.  GUNNAR is endlessly dedicated to the video game community, so naturally our team is stoked to once again hit the road in order to showcase our latest eyewear and gamer-inspired style, which are always hot over in our online store.

With so many video game enthusiasts at an event like this, we’re especially excited to further connect with this community that drives us!

 Along with new video game announcements, tons of swag, plenty of booth babes, and amazing parties, we always enjoy seeing new ideas that use PAX to launch revolutionary concepts.  With our ongoing love affair with video game tournaments, we’ve taken special interest in an all-new search engine for video game events, called Tournament Seeker.

GUNNAR was given behind-the-scene access and from what we saw, www.TournamentSeeker.com is powerful, yet super sleek and easy-to-use.  The video game event listing engine is a breeze, uses social media accounts for quick signup, and is totally free for organizers to showcase professional-looking details for upcoming gaming events.  Tournament organizers can also tap into a unique collection of centralized video game event management resources, which we found exceptionally insightful.  Competitive gamers eager to compete both online and at live gaming events will also benefit. Tournament Seeker’s interactive video game event calendar and powerful video game tournament search will make finding great tournaments for almost any game title…a whole lot easier.

Players who love competitive gaming tournaments and those who have been given the gift of free event visibility are buzzing about what Tournament Seeker means for eSports and GUNNAR is proud to be at ground zero as Tournament Seeker launches this weekend.  Track all the action from PAX on our social media outlets below, and
follow Tournament Seeker on Twitter to be a part of something special.

-n8corn

My week at E3 and MLG Anaheim

The dust has finally settled and the madness that was E3 and the Major League Gaming Anaheim Spring Championships has ended.  From new game releases at E3 to intense StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Mortal Kombat action at MLG, Southern California played host to some of the top gaming and industry professionals from around the world.  A number of teams and players at the event were seen wearing GUNNARS during their games, including the League of Legends champions, Team SoloMid!

TSM: Xpecial Reginald Dyrus OddOne Chaox

 

The week initially started with E3 where I met up with professional League of Legends player, Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez.  Carlos plays for one of the top multi gaming organizations in the world, SK-Gaming, he and I were able to check out E3 on Wednesday and have some time to relax before the competition of MLG began.  Personally, I was really excited to see the new NHL 13 since I am a big hockey fan and I enjoy how real the games are becoming.  The physics have really evolved since the old days and now give you much more control over each aspect of the player’s skills.   After checking out some more booths we went outside for some lunch only to be greeted by thousands of hockey going fans going to the Kings game next door at the Staples Center.  Carlos is a big soccer fan coming from Spain and was still impressed with the amount of Kings Jerseys he saw roaming the streets!

Carlos "Ocelote" Rodriguez

 

After enjoying some California sun shine, we went back to our awesome GUNNAR bus to change clothes and get ready for the Noobz movie premier only a couple blocks away from E3!  Noobz, starring Jason Mewes  and Moises Arias, is a story of four gamers that play Gears of War 3 who travel cross country to Los Angeles in order to play in a big money gaming tournament.  There’s a lot of good laughs and corny jokes in the movie that make for an entertaining 1.5 hours, but one of the more awesome parts of the movie is that the two stars are wearing GUNNARS!  I had a blast attending seeing as I’ve never been a part of a premiere, and having GUNNARs featured in it made it all the better!

After E3 ended on Thursday, the GUNNAR crew (including the bus!) headed down to Anaheim for the MLG event as well as an exclusive GUNNAR photo shoot.  We invited our pro gaming ambassadors to get some photos before they started competing.  We’ll be releasing a behind the scenes video from the photo shoot so look out for that on our facebook, but in the meantime check out the photo below!

Behind the scenes at GUNNAR Photo shoot!

 

Once Friday arrived, the environment became more serious for our gamer friends as everyone started preparing for the main event.  There was over a $100k in prizes up for grabs so you can bet everyone wanted to be as focused as possible.  For GUNNAR…the fun just began!  We were actually able to bring our bus inside the show floor of the venue so we could use it as a place for gaming fans to win prizes and game with GUNNARS!   For those of you who haven’t seen the bus, it’s basically a gamer’s paradise.  Featuring 6 TV’s, 4 leather couches, a fully stocked fridge, and a sound system, this beast makes for one awesome road trip.  By checking in on foursquare or tweeting at us, participants received raffle tickets to win pairs of GUNNARs throughout the weekend.

GUNNAR Bus. Woooooo!

 

Saturday and Sunday followed with more excitement as attendance only got better as the event progressed.  Gamers were coming from all over the west coast just to spectate their favorite pros in action.  Team SK-Gaming, Team SoloMid, and Team Evil Geniuses are three of the top multi gaming organizations in the world and had players competing across every game at the competition.  We saw players of each game wearing GUNNARs and it was really inspiring to see that and hear their feedback first hand.

For me, League of Legends was probably most exciting to watch, especially since Team SoloMid, who wear GUNNARS, were playing so well and had the crowd going all weekend. Coming from a competitive gaming background, I’m used to being at tournaments and being in the atmosphere, but seeing the energy between the players and fans this weekend was pretty astounding. As e-Sports web streaming grows we are seeing more and more actual fans pop up now that it’s easier than ever to interact with and support your favorite player. From fan signs to crowd chants, the energy was obvious and it was great to see the resemblance to actual sporting events. E-sport participants have been grinding away for a long time to help gaming make its way into the main stream and GUNNAR couldn’t be happier to recognize and support the movement.

Just like pro gaming, GUNNAR is unique and that’s one of the reasons I liked the company so much in the first place. GUNNAR pushes people to step out of the norm and embrace the present by utilizing eye wear that protects your eyes from this digital age we are in. Gaming follows a similar theme in that you really have to give it a chance before you bash it. There are so many amazing people that encompass the professional circuit, and all it takes is to look a bit deeper to see the strategy and effort that goes into playing at the highest level.

I’ll end this blog on that note and let you guys check out an epic picture of the crowd from this weekend! Don’t forget to support a pro gamer near you and… oh yeah, try out some GUNNARS ;).

Thanks for reading,

Jordan.

Ergonomics Will Keep You Gaming into the Future

by Curtis Silver

Ergonomics. Over the years the term hasn’t changed the meaning, it means the same today that it did in the 1950s when it was fully accepted as a term and practice. However, it was not until the 2000’s that colleges began to offer it as a course of study towards a masters degree, though its history dates back to ancient Greece. Ergonomics, of course, is the study of designing equipment that fits the human body in physical and cognitive connotations. Where once ergonomics was simply thought to be just keyboard trays and wrist rests, like everything else in the past few decades, it has evolved significantly.

Now ergonomics has become a course study in not only psychology but physiology & behavioral sciences as well. It has become an area of medical concern, a workers compensation standard and something most employers take seriously and are generally willing to pay for if you can demonstrate a need (yes, you can convince your boss to buy you a pair of Gunnars for work.) Ergonomics has become more than just physical comfort in the office but has branched out into many other industries. Though it is in the office environment that we think of ergonomics the most, and while innovations are being made there, they are also being made in gaming ergonomics as well, with a bit of crossover.

Take for instance the concept of the mouse glove. For years this has been an idea of the scientific & engineering community. Probably after seeing Tom Cruise move screens around in Minority Report. Actually, that was the motivation for students at MIT back in 2010 who developed a wireless mouse glove that cost under $100 to produce. There is even earlier research at North Carolina State University’s college of engineering in which students devised a glove that controlled computer operations with sensors in the fingertips. Now there is a company called Bellco that is marketing a wireless air mouse glove to the community at large.

So would a wireless mouse glove actually alleviate wrist pain? Common wrist and hand problems range from carpal tunnel to tendonitis due to keeping the hand and wrist at odd angles during the day. A mouse glove would not require you to keep your hand on the desk, you could basically be in a relaxed position all day long. So why isn’t something like this catching on? I’m guessing that it has to do with control. Our movements are human, and when there is exact work to be done on computers (such as graphic design) more precise movements are needed, which when the hand is steadied on a desk or wrist rest is possible. A floating hand relies on too many other active muscles to keep steady. Think about the difference between using a tripod for a camera and not using one.

Keeping with hand ergonomics but moving over to gaming there is the Avenger Xbox 360 Adapter by N-Control. Not billed as an ergonomic device, rather a fully customizable one, the Avenger is about as ergonomic as you can get with a console gaming controller. It snaps on to the Xbox 360 controller and you can move the buttons & triggers around to fit not only your hand but your gaming style as well. Something to think about for those with itchy trigger fingers, you can also adjust the response time. For someone like me who has broken every finger at some point in life and some don’t work as they should, this is a fantastic device. Often I get hand cramps when gaming (as many gamers do) and being able to adjust the controller to an ergonomically sound position based on the layout & comfort of my hand is pretty sweet.

The thing is, gamers are one group that might not think about ergonomics mostly because of their age range. A lot of gamers are young, in their teens or college-aged and haven’t yet experienced the ongoing pain associated with mistreated joints & tendons. Gamers put themselves in a position to get anything from back & shoulder pain to neck pain to eye strain. Though here at Gunnar, the solution to eye strain is pretty clear. If there is one ergonomic item that has changed my life for the better, it’s my MLG Phantoms. But even solving eye strain with a sweet pair of Gunnars isn’t going to clear up severe neck issues from sitting at a bad angle and not having proper back support.

Thankfully, there are plenty of awesome gaming chairs in the market. My favorite has to be this one, the PCE Ultimate Gaming Station & Work Space. All you would need to do is install a Mountain Dew fountain and you’d be good to go. The point is, like many gaming chairs, it sets the body at an angle that doesn’t put undue pressure on the joints and tendons. So basically, you can game longer. Also, for those gamers that prefer some more “human” games every once in a while, there is this.

Of course, what would any market segment be without the totally off the wall stuff? Take for instance the Adapta Mouse. Designer Ryo Yoshimi has created a functional and ergonomically sound (I suppose) mouse that looks like a centerpiece at a very neo-classical wine bar. Then there is the DataHand, a throwback from 1990 that use a radial menu to select letters, basically replacing your movement across the keyboard with a finger twitch. Obviously, while very smart ergonomics, it didn’t catch on. Another great design that was flawed as far as marketing is the Combimouse.Come to think of it, the name might have been a bit flawed as well. The keyboard split in two to adapt to a more natural hand resting position, and the mouse was also incorporated into the keyboard and split in two. Probably would take a bit of getting used to.

When we sit down at our desks, or in front of our gaming console we don’t always consider the damage we could be doing to our bodies by not simply sitting in an ergonomically sound position. As you can see, there are plenty of great products on the market to assist with that so that we can keep gaming for years to come without having to take a baggie full of meds every morning. Ergonomics has become more than just a gel thing on your desk you end up destroying with paper-clips, it has become something we all need to think about as we go through our day to day lives. The long term effects of things such as tendon damage and eye strain are something we need to take seriously now.

For some great ergonomic supplies, after you get yourself a pair of Gunnars, check out ergopro.com.