Computer Monitor Flicker
In the event you experience a computer monitor flicker, your computer monitor may have to be set
at 70 Hz or higher refresh rates to fully eliminate the "flicker" problem and become compliant with
US OSHA guidelines and International VESA ergonomic standards. The Union is making
information available to you (see the websites below for pertinent data) to assist you in making an
informed decision at your own recognizance.
According to the bulk of the information, your eyesight and health may be impacted by the current
60 Hz refresh rate that all PCs are being set to by default on all Microsoft Operating Systems on
PCs. It is now considered to be the #1 problem impacting the health of the eyes (known as
Computer Vision Syndrome) for a majority of people, about 160 million in the U.S. alone. Not
everyone can see the flickering effect, but it is especially noticeable around fluorescent lighting
where the excitation frequency is also 60 Hz. Effects typically cited in the literature include: severe
eyestrain, headaches, irritability, behavioral changes, inability to focus on nearby objects and
read papers after prolonged use of the computer, and increased blood pressure with concomitant
propensity for other negative side effects. Note that monitor flicker may not only be a problem here
in the office, but may also manifest itself on home PCs, and affect your family's health, especially
that of children who watch more television (which also flickers at 60 Hz) than adults.
The following are some websites about monitor flicker, and there are numerous other websites
describing the potential health effects caused by or attributed to this problem.
To increase the monitor refresh rate, here is the official procedure for self-repair of this problem for
(1) Close or minimize all active applications to expose the background.
(2) Right click the mouse button to select "Properties"
(3) Click the "Settings" tab
(4) Click the "Advanced" button
(5) Click the "Monitor" tab
(6) Change the "Refresh Frequency" from 60 Hertz to 75 Hertz or higher
(7) Click the "OK" button and again on the Display Properties page
(8) If the monitor allows the new refresh rate, select "OK" again
(9) Adjust the display buttons on the monitor to re-center and expand the display area to fill the
(10) If the monitor is still flickering, either the monitor or the video card (or its drivers) may be
defective, in which case you should call the Help Desk to 'fix" the problem. For home PCs, consult
your "user manual and/or associated documentation" or contact the manufacturer regarding their
recommendations for servicing or warranty work.
Note that many of the inexpensive monitors that were purchased by ODIN may be inadequately
shielded, so that the overhead lights behind the cabinetry at some workstations make the monitors
flicker no matter what the refresh rate setting. If this is the case, it is suggested that you contact
your Code Administrative personnel to request that these monitors be replaced.