One complaint I hear over and over from netbook users is that too many PC makers are adopting high gloss displays in lieu of matte screens. At first glance, these shiny, glossy displays can be quite attractive and offer vibrant color. But that’s when you use them indoors under exactly the right viewing angle. But if you take a netbook with a glossy screen outside or use it a room with a bright light you could run the risk of turning it into a mirror.

Now it turns out there might be another reason to choose computers with matte displays over glossy ones. Glossy screens could lead to back pain. No, seriously. That’s according to the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane Australia.

Basically, QUT says that Apple computers and other systems with high gloss displays can “cause the operator to adopt awkward postures” in order to avoid glare and reflections. And that can lead to injury or back pain.

QUT doesn’t necessarily think that means you shouldn’t use a computer with a glossy screen. But you may want to consider the amount of time you’ll be spending with the display as well as the location where you’ll be using it. Adjusting the contrast and viewing angles of the display can also help.

via Netbook News.de and The Apple Blog

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9 replies on “University: Glossy displays could be hazardous to your health”

  1. So, are there any netbooks that come with a matte screen? Until then, my netbook desire will be restrained by my old Compaq Armada M300 with a lovely matte screen.

  2. Well in that case ex-wives, people you owe money to, and the bully at the beach who all cause you to slink away also cause back pain too.

    I mean morning/evening traffic cause you to scrunch down in your car seat, so that so bad too! So this guy is saying EVERYTRHING that cause you to wiggle in your seat is bad….well duh.

  3. I hate the glossy screens: sure they look pretty in stores, but they really suck to actually use. I’m sitting with my back to a window right now and have the screen tilted down to not reflect it; as a result, I’m slumped back in the chair more than I would like.

  4. I actually think the back issue is a minor one compared to the eye strain issues caused by glossy/glass screens. That was the reason many of us went from CRT displays to LCD displays many years ago – for vendors to bring back glossy displays was a huge step backwards IMO.

    1. It was simply cost-cutting measure: displays without antireflective coating are cheaper to produce (yes, they are “less”, not “more”).

      On top of that, convincing consumers that it’s better, hip, and charging higher prices was just…brilliant.

  5. This totally makes sense… and I knew it. I have had this observation lately. Glad to know I was correct… 😉

  6. I wonder if they did a control study conducted by a glossy screen lover. Apparently these people hated golossy screens so much they did a study on them 🙂 I wish they had included golossy cases, bezels and wrist areas.

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