Many people claim that sitting too close to the TV can be dangerous for our health. But is it true? Could sitting right in front of your huge TV screen while you watch a movie or your favourite show really cause physical damage to your eyes? If so, could this damage be irreversible?
Let’s learn more about the possible consequences of sitting too close to TV screen:
Consequence #1: Some old TVs truly were dangerous
Back in 1967, General Electric had to recall 90,000 colour televisions. Why? Because those brand new TVs were found to emit excessive amounts of radiations that could prove harmful to human health. Long term exposure to these radiations could turn the viewer’s skin red and painful.
The company recalled and fixed the faulty sets, but as a result of this problematic situation, colour TV viewers were advised not to sit directly under their TV set, to avoid being exposed to any radiation.
Even though the flat screen televisions being manufactured today are not emitting excessive amounts of radiations, many people still associate sitting too close to the TV with some form of danger.
Unless you somehow acquired a very old, still functional GE TV set, you don’t have to worry about harmful radiations burning the skin of your face if you sit too close to your screen.
But can your TV damage your eyes if you sit too close to it?
Consequence #2: TV screens can cause eye fatigue
Another consequence of sitting too close to TV is possible eye fatigue. Different things can tire your eyes, including staring at a computer screen or a smartphone, playing video games, reading, writing, driving long distances, looking at bright lights, spending time in a dimly lit environment, and, of course, watching TV.
The symptoms of eye fatigue can include burning or itchy eyes, watery or dry eyes, blurred vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, trouble focusing, and headaches.
This sounds pretty bad, but the good news is that if you simply turn off your TV screen, or stop doing whatever is straining your eyes, those symptoms will go away. All you have to do is take some rest.
If you often feel eye fatigue when you watch TV, and if your symptoms don’t disappear after a good night of sleep, it could be a good idea to see a doctor. Your problem is not necessarily caused by sitting too close to your TV: it could simply be a sign that you have an underlying eye problem that needs to be addressed.
Keep in mind that watching your TV for too long will probably give you tired and painful eyes, even if you’re not sitting too close to your screen. Watching TV is great, but if you spend most of your days doing nothing else, your overall health will eventually decline.
Consequence #3: Finding the right position for your TV is important
If you want to stop sitting too close to your TV, you might be wondering how close is too close.
If you see pixels while staring at your screen, you are certainly sitting too close to it. If you can feel your eyes getting tired after simply a few minutes, you should move your seat away from your screen.
The ideal distance between you and your TV screen depends on its size, but also on its resolution. Therefore, there is no simple answer. Using an online TV viewing distance calculator could help you figure out how you should set up your living room to avoid eye strain.
The way you install your TV will make a difference as well. If you put it directly on the floor, or if you hang it on a wall, you have to make sure you will be sitting in a way that will allow for a comfortable viewing experience.
If you want your screen to be at eye level, placing it on a flat screen TV stand could be a good solution. A TV stand can help you watch television at a healthier and more comfortable position.
Consequence #4: Sitting too close to your screen might not be the most comfortable option
Depending on where your TV is installed, and on how you are sitting, being too close to the screen while you watch a movie could cause you some back or neck pain.
If you have to look up or down to view your screen, it could put some strain on your neck and shoulders. Same thing if you are sitting on the side of your screen, instead of right in front of it.
The truth is that even if you are sitting at a reasonable distance from your TV, your movie or TV series viewing experience could leave you with a sore neck, shoulders and back.
To avoid this, you have to make sure you are sitting comfortably, and at a good viewing angle.