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Ind Health. 1995;33(2):43-55.

Ocular surface area as an informative index of visual ergonomics.

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National Institute of Industrial Health, Kawasaki, Japan.


A large ocular surface area (OSA) is thought to be one of the causes of eye irritation and eye fatigue. Because ocular surface is very sensitive to various irritants such as dust, heat, dryness, air flow, etc., a large OSA increases the possibility of eye surface exposure to such irritants. Thus, OSA is one of the most important indices of visual ergonomics. This paper aims at making OSA an exact and practical index by first describing an accurate method of measuring it, and then clarifying the relationship between OSA, the width of the palpebral fissure, and vertical gaze direction, all of which are thought to be strongly correlated with each other. We derived the following equations: 1) y = 0.039x1 + 3.36, r = 0.99, 2) y = 3.05x2 - 0.39, r = 0.97, 3) x1 = 72.7x2 - 91.4, r = 0.97, where x1 = vertical gaze direction (degrees), x2 = width or the palpebral fissure (cm), y = OSA (cm2). Finally, this paper also introduces the practical applications of OSA measurement, and notes the differences between OSA when VDT work (word processing using a keyboard and drawing a picture using a mouse) is performed and when traditional office work without a VDT (reading, drawing, and writing) is performed.

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