How to Prevent Digital Eye Strain While Working on a Computer
American jobs have become more computer reliant and there is no sign of this slowing down. As great as technology can be for working, it also has a few downsides. For example, studies suggest that over half of computer users reported computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain (DES) in 2018.
Luckily, there are ways computer workers can avoid this uncomfortable phenomenon. Read on to learn how you or your employees can prevent eye strain while working on a computer with some tips from the ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc.
Ways to Prevent Eye Strain
The most obvious way to prevent digital eye strain is by reducing the amount of time you spend looking at a screen. Less screen time means less eye strain. One should reduce as much additional screen time as possible, however this isn’t realistic if your job requires you to use a computer, tablet, or phone every day.
Computer Glasses with Blue Light Filtering for Eye Strain
Although blue light occurs naturally, digital devices often emit much higher levels of blue light than is healthy for our eyes. Artificial blue light is not only linked to eye strain, but also to restlessness and insomnia.
Using blue-light blocking computer glasses can help filter out this harmful blue light and protect your eyes. They look just like regular glasses and can even be somewhat fashionable to wear. Wearing these can reduce your risk of digital eye strain, but they aren’t a stand-alone solution. Use blue light computer glasses in conjunction with the other methods discussed for the best results.
Related article: “Ergonomics Tips: Computer Glasses for Office Workers”
Take Breaks from Working
When working on a computer, it’s easy to forget to take a break. However, skipping breaks has depreciating returns and worse yet – it can cause workplace injury and digital eye strain.
Ergonomics experts advice workers to get up and walk around, drink some water, and take some time to stop looking at the screen. Consider concepts like the “20-20-20 rule.” For every 20 minutes you spend looking at any screen, take 20 seconds to look at an object 20 feet away from you.
This isn’t a hard and fast rule. If you find it hard to remember to do this every twenty minutes, just take frequent breaks. You may also want to consider downloading some apps that remind you to take your breaks.
Related article: “3 Free Apps that Serve as Break Reminder at Work”
Implement Workspace Ergonomics
Perhaps one of the best ways to prevent digital eye strain and/or reduce symptoms is to create an ergonomically-friendly workspace.
For example, be mindful of the position of your desktop monitor. A desktop monitor should be about 18 to 25 inches away from you. Try sitting up straight and reaching your arm out to ensure your monitor is about arm’s length away from you. Furthermore, be sure to position the screen so your eyes look slightly down, rather than straight ahead, up, or way below.
The best way to implement workspace ergonomics is by investing in an ergonomics assessment for yourself or for your employees. With an assessment, an ergonomics consultant will implement a setup to reduce digital eyestrain and all other forms of workplace injury.
These assessments are available in-person and now as virtual ergonomics assessments as well.
Preventing Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain doesn’t have to become a major problem if you take preventative measure. Creating an ergonomic workspace is one of the best ways to prevent eye strain and reduce the risk of DES before its onset. Ergonomic risks should never be ignored. If you or your company needs assistance in setting up proper ergonomics for workers, consider performing a professional ergonomic risk assessment. We’d love to invite you to contact our experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. today to check up on the ergonomic risks of your employees.
Require a Virtual Assessment? The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc. are now offering affordable Virtual Ergonomics Assessments specifically for remote workers (all you need is access to e-mail or a smart phone).
At SolutionsNW.com we value the importance of a positive workplace culture. Part of a positive workplace is a safe workplace, Contact Us to schedule an ergonomics consultation or ergonomics assessment for your office today.
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