The proximity-fixation-disparity curve and the preferred viewing distance at a visual display as an indicator of near vision fatigue

Optom Vis Sci. 2002 Mar;79(3):158-69. doi: 10.1097/00006324-200203000-00010.


Purpose: This laboratory study investigates the relation between measures of fixation disparity (FD) (and other optometric measures) and near vision fatigue at a computer workstation.

Methods: Young adult subjects with normal binocular vision performed three blocks of a visual task of 30 min each. In Block A, the viewing distance was 100 cm, as a reference without near vision. In Block B, the viewing distance of 50 cm induced a defined near vision load. In Block C, subjects were free to choose a comfortable viewing distance. This preferred viewing distance was used as an indicator of near vision fatigue because subjects adopting longer viewing distances in Block C had more near vision fatigue at 50 cm in Block B.

Results: Subjects with preferred viewing distances longer than average (63 cm) had steeper slopes of FD as a function of viewing distance (100-30 cm), as shown by discriminant analyses.

Conclusions: Thus, this steep proximity-FD curve indicates a weak disparity vergence system that may cause near vision fatigue. This may explain why some young adults prefer longer viewing distances at the computer workstation.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Terminals*
  • Data Display*
  • Distance Perception
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Fixation, Ocular*
  • Humans
  • Optometry / methods
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology*