Eye Wellness in the Workplace

Graphic designer using a graphics tabletDepending on the types of jobs they have, some employees spend nearly the entire workday in front of the computer. And odds are that during lunch and other quick breaks, they are on their smartphone or tablet catching up on texts and Facebook feeds, playing games or surfing the internet. All this time in front of digital screens can cause what is known as digital eye strain.

According to the American Optometric Association’s American Eye-Q® survey completed last year, 58 percent of adults surveyed said they experienced digital eye strain as a result of time spent on a computer. Symptoms of digital eye strain can range from tired, itchy eyes to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes and head and shoulder strain.

While digital eye strain is most often not a worrisome condition, it does impact eye wellness and workplace productivity. Help preserve your eye health with these “5 Steps to Relieve Digital Eye Strain at Work,” provided by the American Optometric Association. The tips can also be found here.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule.
Take a 20-second break, every 20 minutes and view something 20 feet away.

Keep a distance.
Sit at a comfortable distance from the computer monitor where you can easily read all text with your head and torso in an upright position and your back supported by your chair. Generally, the preferred viewing distance is between 20 and 28 inches from the eye to the front surface of the screen.

View from a different angle.
Ideally, the computer screen should be 15 to 20 degrees, or about 4 to 5 inches, below eye level as measured from the center of the screen.

Decrease glare.
While there is no way to completely minimize glare from light sources, consider using a glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.

Blink often.
Minimize your chances of developing dry eyes when using a computer by making an effort to blink frequently.

If you’re suffering from digital eye strain, be sure to share that information with your doctor during your yearly, comprehensive eye examination. He or she can share additional information and ensure there aren’t any other underlying conditions.

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2 Responses to Eye Wellness in the Workplace

  1. This is a really awesome post, it’s great that the effects of Digital Eye Strain and Computer Vision Syndrome are being taken more seriously, especially when so many of us spend upwards of 6 hours in front of screens every single day (and that’s not counting the time we spend on public transport going to and from work, glued to our smartphones!)

    We at A Sight for Sore Eyes are committed to raising awareness in young adults and teenagers for Digital Eye Strain, Computer Vision Syndrome, and the other various negative effects on our health that they can have! In our attempts to form and change habits before they enter full-time work, we’ve touched on posture, the 20-20-20 rule, and Samsung’s new curved screens and how they’re easier on the eyes in recent posts, so be sure to check them out for some more info!

    You can also see more of us on Facebook at facebook.com/ASight4SoreEyes/ and on Twitter at twitter.com/SoreEyesRUs.

    Thanks again!

  2. Reblogged this on A Sight for Sore Eyes and commented:
    A really well-thought out post that uses some great empirical evidence to make its point! This post offers up some practical ways to make a big difference to your productivity at work (and might even help some of you guys form some healthy habits before you enter full-time work)

    Make sure to check it out in its entirety!

    – D. M.

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