Stationary Peripheral Movement

Stationary peripheral movement is one of the two types of movement that we should be aware of and by noticing this movement, it will allow you to release or keep your ciliary muscle unlocked. This is particularly useful for viewing things close up like a computer screen, reading, watching TV, or looking across the room.

Stationary peripheral movement is noticing the movement of foreground and background objects when you are sitting still. Now when I say sitting still I don’t mean that you can’t move at all. What I am referring to is the fact that you are not moving toward or away from the object. You can move your head left, right, up, or down. Think about sitting in a swivel chair in the middle of a room. You can turn 360° however, you can not move closer or further away from any of the objects in the room.

For the example below I recommend being on a computer so you can see the mouse effect. Place your mouse over the images and think of the mouse as your eyes. When sitting stationary and looking at the ball, when you move your mouse (eyes) to the right of the ball, the box in the background moves to the right. Moving your eyes to the left, moves the box in the background to the left. Moving your eyes up, moves the box up and moving your eyes down moves the box down. The foreground object can be anything. Perhaps a computer screen with a wall in the background or a book with the TV in the background. The key is as your looking at the foreground object, you have to notice the movement of the background object at the same time. You don’t have to see the background object clearly but you have to notice that it moves as you are panning your eyes across the foreground object. 

It is important to be aware of the movement of objects in your foreground against objects in your background. You should always be noticing the movement between the two. If you don’t notice this movement, you get into the habit of tunnel visioning, which is only seeing one thing at a time. In my office I made some ergonomic changes that allow me to see more move of my peripheral and background objects. 

I have my computer monitors about 20 inches from the back of the wall. I sit an arm’s length away from the screens. This allows me to see my eye chart and texture of the wall when I’m looking at the top of my screen and I can see my coffee cup or hydro flask in the my foreground when I’m looking at the bottom of my screen. As I look work I look around my screen I can always see movement of background objects or foreground objects. 

I also have a light that I keep on when I’m working that shines on the wall behind the computer. If there’s too much darkness in your background, you can’t notice the movement. This is reason people add bias lighting to the back of TV’s!


Stationary Peripheral movement can be noticed up close, at a medium distance and far away. Get into the habit of seeing this movement between objects as you movement your head. I often find myself moving my head in various patterns as I type at my computer just so I can notice the peripheral objects moving. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. This is an essential, good vision habit!

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