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Sitting Close to the TV

December 9, 2016

A Science Update listener asks if sitting too close to the television can hurt your eyes.



TV viewing and  eye health. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Generations of children have been told not to sit too close to the television because it will hurt their vision. Science Update listener Sheree Cox from Jonesboro, Arkansas asks if it’s true. We checked with the American Academy of Ophthamology, and they said no. While sitting too close can lead to eye strain and fatigue, those effects are reversible. In addition, young people are far more resistant to eye strain, so they rarely experience any negative effects from sitting near the screen at all. However, sitting right in front of the television could be an indication that a child in near-sighted. So even though the behavior won’t harm children’s vision, it could be telling you that they should have their eyes examined. If you have a science question, give us a call at 1-800-WHY-ISIT. That’s 1-800-949-4748. Or email us from our website, I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.


Story by Bob Hirshon