Our eyes are not designed for looking at screens for prolonged periods, just as our bodies are not designed to sit in front of them! This includes large screens such as computer monitors, laptops, televisions and smaller screens such as tablets and phones. Take a moment to consider the percentage of your day which you spend looking at a screen; its probably higher than you would like it to be. Eye related problems associated with screen use are usually temporary. However, eye strain can be uncomfortable. Eye problems are largely preventable when we take appropriate measures.
RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING EYE STRAIN
Here are some common causes of vision problems in office workers.
- Sitting either too close or too far from the screen.
- Spending a lot of time viewing unclear or flickering images.
- Looking at a screen for a long period without a break.
- Viewing a screen that has a glare or reflects another image.
- Viewing very small images or characters.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM STRAINING MY EYES
Hopefully, you have not developed any symptoms, however, here are some of the conditions which are associated with excessive screen use; Take a moment to check if any are familiar to you.
- Dry Eyes
- Eye Fatigue or irritated eyes
- Blurred vision
- Burning, itching or teary eyes.
HOW TO PREVENT EYE STRAIN
Placement of your screen – Position your monitor so that your eyes focus on the top one-third of the screen. This is while you are looking straight ahead and your neck is relaxed. Your screen should be an arm’s length away from you, this is based on comfortable focus, move the monitor forward or back as needed.
Reduce Glare on your screen- Place computer screens at a 90-degree angle to windows where possible. Control natural light from windows by using blinds etc. In glary conditions, the eyes have to constantly adapt to the difference in contrast between dark and light areas. Use an anti-glare screen filter if required.
Take Regular Breaks from screen use – Do this to allow the eyes to recover. Ensure that you don’t reach for your phone when taking a break from looking at your big screen.
Wear Glasses not Contact Lenses – Wearing contact lenses can increase the risk of developing dry eyes.
Computer Reading Glasses- Many people wear glasses to correct vision problems, however, computer reading glasses are different. These glasses have an anti-glare reflective coating to reduce glare, they also have special tinting to increase contrast for easier viewing. Computer reading glasses are available as both prescription and non – prescription.
All regular computer users should take regular vision tests. It is important to see a healthcare professional if you are having any symptoms of eye strain which does not resolve when the eyes are rested.
ERGONOMICS SUPPORT FOR YOUR COMPANY
To learn more about office setup and good ergonomics principles, you can reach out to Fit for Work at email@example.com to talk about how an ergonomic programme within your office can increase productivity, increase staff satisfaction, improve staff retention and reduce sick leave.