On Wednesday, Apple announced its "next big thing", the iPad. Even casual gadget fans here in the office were keeping tabs on Gizmodo's live coverage of the press conference.

This morning, I'm picturing thousands of excited iPad owners hunched over their shiny new toys. And I can't help but think, with all these new gadgets to play with, we need to keep an eye on ergonomics.

Most of us spend lots of time in front of the computer, and here are a couple things you can do to help reduce strain on your eyes and your body.

Advancements in screen lighting have certainly made things easier on our eyes. Flat-panel screens are better than older CRT monitors, and the iPad has IPS screen technology which offers better off-angle viewing. But, there are still things we should do to protect our vision.

At your desk, be sure interior and exterior light doesn't reflect off the screen back into your eyes. Glare is fatiguing for the eye, so pull the curtains and make sure desk lamps focus down on paperwork or the keyboard. Don't get too close to that monitor ... experts say a distance of 20-24" is ideal.

Now, don't forget the rest of your body. The iPad seems to fit naturally in your lap, so make sure you've got a comfortable chair that keeps your back and neck supported. We have some excellent office chairs, and check out these desks, many of which are portable and perfect for laptops or your new iPad.

For more tips on reading lighting, see our article Page Turners: Lighting to Read By. Next, head over to this article at allaboutvision.com written by two Doctors of Optometry: Computer Eye Strain: 10 Steps for Relief.

photo courtesy of Apple