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December 18, 2020
If you work at a computer all day, you are doing huge damage to your eyes without realising it. Staring at a screen for long periods can put a great deal of strain on your eye muscles, which can lead to headaches, blurred vision and eye fatigue. Over time this can cause your eyesight to degenerate and may result in permanent vision impairment. What makes this worse is the fact that working at computers causes you to blink less frequently which can dry your eyes out and make the problem even more severe.
Fortunately, vision impairment caused by working with screens is entirely avoidable. As long as you are mindful of the risks, there are several precautions you can take to minimise the damage and preserve your eyesight. Here are four tips to help you protect your vision at work.
Most people who work in offices sit far too close to their computer screens. The optimal distance is between 20 and 24 inches away from your face, which is about an arm’s length. Try to refrain from hunching too close to your computer, and if you struggle to read writing, simply enlarge the text rather than leaning nearer. Keep the centre of your screen slightly below eye level. As well as being the most comfortable position for your eyes, it will also help to protect your back and neck.
Fiddling with the display settings on your computer monitor can also make a huge difference. As well as increasing text size, try lowering the brightness and the colour temperature to create a more eye-friendly set-up.
The longer you use your computer without a break, the more stress you put your eyes under. You should treat your eyes like any part of the body, and give it a rest if you are using them too much. Take a ten-minute break from your screen once every hour. Use this time to actively blink, and look at a distant object out the window to help your eyes recover. Avoid screens at this time, which means not getting your phone out and scrolling through Instagram. Avoid working through lunch, and make sure you get outside and stay away from devices until it’s time to resume work.
Most screens emit a harsh blue light which can increase the strain on the eyes and heighten the risk of macular degeneration. You can buy glasses which are specially designed to block this light and protect your eyes.
Workers in most industries are increasingly reliant on computers, tablets and smartphones to get the job done, but there are ways you can reduce the amount of time you spend on them. For example, if you need to read a large amount of text, consider printing it out and sitting down to read it on paper. This will give your eyes a much-needed break. You could also choose to make phone calls instead of sending emails and limit the amount of time you spend on unnecessary digital activities like social media.
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