March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, so why not take a step back and think about our eye health and what we could do to protect our eyes and give them some relief during work hours. It is very important to take eye health into account in the workplace, and this can be done by simple steps such as wearing eye protection to prevent injuries as well as repeating small actions to give the eyes a rest, what you should consider doing depends on the industry and type of job you do.
When working with computers, it is likely that you spend a large and uninterrupted amount of time looking at screens, with consequent eye tiredness and eye strain. A constant exposure to digital devices could also result in computer vision syndrome, with symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, dry gritty eyes and so on.
Those who work using computers and looking at screens can take just a few small steps to give the eyes relief and avoid eye strain. Take a look below for 7 things to do to help protect your eyes if working with computers is part of your daily routine:
Use the 20/20/20 Rule
Take a 20 seconds break every 20 minutes and focus your vision on something that is placed 20 feet away.
Don’t forget to blink!
We tend to blink less when we look at computers or other digital devices for a prolonged period of time. That’s why it is important to blink, so that the eyes stay moisturised (and become less dry). Try to blink every time you press ‘return’.
Have your eyes regularly tested
It’s very important to schedule regular eye tests with an optician, so that you can keep track of your eye health. You also should let your doctor know if you use computers and electronic devices as part of your daily work routine. Take a look at our eye test deals page for when you’ll next need an eye test.
Wear computer eyewear
Keep in mind that your employer may have to help towards the cost of your eye care if you work using a computer for more than 5 hours per day. If you use a computer at work, in fact, your employer should pay for your eye test. If you need special corrective glasses only for when you are using the computer at work (different to your regular glasses for long distance or reading), your employer should also contribute towards the cost. Your optician will be able to prescribe eyewear specifically designed for computer. Anti-reflection coatings are a great lens choice to reduce reflections.
If you can, take mini breaks
It is recommended to take short and frequent breaks from looking at computers to rest your eyes and have a break from focusing on your screen. It is also important to drink plenty of water and get some fresh air.
Pay attention to your workspace
There are a few things you could do to make sure you are comfortable in your workspace. Try to sit about 20-26 inches away from your computer, with your nose level with the top of your computer screen so you’re looking slightly down at it.
Also, turn the brightness down and the contrast up and make sure your monitor screen can tilt and swivel and that the height of your monitor and your chair are adjustable.
Try to avoid looking at tablets before going to bed as the illumination from tablets can be a stimulant. Adjust the brightness of the screen until you find a level you are comfortable with.
Always remember that your eye health is important at any time of the day, so dedicate some extra care to your eyes when you are at work! And if you are looking for more info about opticians, eye tests and tips on buying glasses, take a look at our Seeing Clearly guide.