Original Research

Risk factors of digital eye strain among computer users at Al-Baha University

Saleha K. Al-Atawi
African Vision and Eye Health | Vol 82, No 1 | a815 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aveh.v82i1.815 | © 2023 Saleha K. Al-Atawi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 October 2022 | Published: 27 July 2023

About the author(s)

Saleha K. Al-Atawi, Department of Optometry, Faculty of Applied Medical Science, Al Baha University, Al Baha, Saudi Arabia


Background: Digital eye strain (DES) affects an estimated 60 million people worldwide, with a higher prevalence among populations that are occupationally reliant on digital display devices.

Aim: This study investigated risk factors of DES and ergonomic practices among computer users at Al-Baha University.

Setting: The study was conducted among computer users at Al-Baha University.

Methods: This study used a descriptive cross-sectional design and data were gathered using self-administered questionnaires.

Results: A total of 360 computer users participated (mean age: 36.33 years, standard deviation [s.d.]: 7.08). The lifetime and daily computer usage were 8.38 (s.d.: = 1.04) years and 4.37 (s.d.: = 2.07) hours, respectively, with 30% of respondents having used computers for more than 10 years. The baseline total eye complaints score was either mild or moderate for 64.7% and severe for 35% of the sample. The total workstation design score was poor for 47.1% and fair for 35.5% of the sample. The regression analysis of potential DES risk factors found statistically significant coefficients for the duration of daily computer use, use of contact lenses, poor ergonomic practices, poor workstation design and use of non-prescription spectacles.

Conclusion: This study emphasises the need for learning institutions and public health policy makers to not only raise awareness about digital eye strain but also impose time restrictions and breaks on digital-based activities and generally improve workstation design and ergonomic conditions.

Contribution: This study offers a basis for targeted interventions to prevent and manage DES, particularly within learning settings.


digital eye strain (DES); ergonomic practices; computer users; occupation; computer vision syndrome

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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