EyeTools Optometry Skills

142: How to improve the ergonomics of using a stand magnifier?

One of my patients uses a stand magnifier and her reading glasses for reading. She is happy with the clarity of the print but finds it difficult to bend over the magnifier when it is on her table. She gets neck ache and backache after about five minutes. It’s putting her off using the stand magnifier. How can I help her?

There are ergonomic issues associated with stand magnifiers. Bending over the lens and getting in the correct position for the reading glasses to focus on the print will very quickly cause neck and backache. This is more likely in the older age group of people who often have to use stand magnifiers due to age-related sight loss. They often already have skeletal problems.

There is a simple low-cost solution to this. Use a clipboard.

Place the reading material on the clipboard to give a flat firm surface when using a magnifier which can be brought close to the eye. This may not be possible with thick books. Then hold the clipboard with one hand and the magnifier with the other. Place the stand magnifier on the page and move the clipboard-magnifier combination towards the face until, when wearing reading glasses, the print comes into focus. The elbows should be tucked in close to each side of the body to aid in support and comfort. Try to keep a straight back and neck.

For people with problems holding a clipboard, it is straightforward to mount it on a frame so it can be firmly fixed to a table.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

If you like EyeTools Questions of the Day…

Children’s Eye Examinations
How to Run a Successful Low Vision Clinic
How to Run a Successful Optometry Practice

Get EyeTools Journal : 80+ Expert Optometry Tips & Skills, 3x Weekly!



– Optometry students
– Pre-registration and novice optometrists
– Optometrists returning to work
– Junior eye doctors
– Dispensing opticians and orthoptists preparing for refraction exams
– Contact lens opticians, clinical assistants and eyecare educators

Improve your optometry skills with introductory & specialist instruction videos, topical live & recorded expert webinars, presentations and book reviews.

Start with the first section, ‘Pre-refraction procedures’ free, then choose a monthly or yearly subscription. To see English captions, click the CC button on any video.