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I'm using a 17" TFT at 1280x1024 at home and work. I'm also using 14" TFT at 1024x768. What is the least stresfull distance for the eye to work with it? What is the general connection between screen size, resolution and viewing distance? Some kind of a formula?

Do you know of any research papers on that topic?

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spotted this article link on a related question .. there are other similar questions too if you search around. – quack quixote Apr 22 '10 at 10:43
In what way optimum? Greater viewing angle or less stressing for eyes or... – Jawa Apr 22 '10 at 10:57
@Jawa: less stressing for eyes. I'll update my question. – Ivan Petrushev Apr 22 '10 at 12:11
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I'd say that the optimum distance depends greatly on the watcher. One should use a distance that feels comfortable.

There exists quite a few HDTV distance calculators in the net but they, as their name suggests, are mainly targeted to TVs and to screen sizes of 22" and up. The rule of thumb with smaller screens used to be that you should sit an arm's length from the screen.

Some scientific sources - more or less - are listed e.g. in Wikipedia's HDTV viewing distance article.

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Is the rule of the arm true for smaller screens like 14" or 10" (and under)? – Ivan Petrushev Apr 22 '10 at 12:13

This is strictly empirical ... but once long time ago, I read the safe distance for a computer monitor is about one arm's length. I remembered it back then, and it always served me well.

(30 years in front of all kinds of monitors ... perfect eyesight still :)

*post scriptum: this is becoming a problem with laptops, since one is "forced" to watch them from a smaller distance ...*

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I am nearsighted and can't read the screen if it is farther than 3/4 arm's length away. What should people like me do? – marcusw Apr 22 '10 at 13:20
@marcusw - I've no idea. I remember it said it was a "safe" distance in a way that it doesn't spoil your eyesight - I don't think it does anything in the way of "repairing" it. – Rook Apr 22 '10 at 17:59

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