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How to Relieve Eye Strain from Staring at Screens at Work

How to Relieve Eye Strain from Staring at Screens at Work

People who spend long hours staring at computer screens at work may experience some eye discomfort. Here's how to relieve eye strain while you're in the office.

Many office workers are aware of carpal tunnel syndrome, but what about computer vision syndrome (CVS)? Computer vision syndrome includes a variety of eye strain issues, such as dry eyes and tension headaches, that primarily affect office workers. According to WebMD, “50% to 90% of people who work on computers exhibit symptoms of CVS.”

Ergonomics Consultants, Office Assessments, | Solutions Northwest Inc.

While these statistics sound scary, there are things you can do to help your eyes during the day. Let’s explore how to relieve eye strain during the work week so you can keep your body in tip-top shape.

How to relieve eye strain.

Are you ready to relieve your eyes? The ergonomics experts at Solutions Northwest Inc., have put together these tips to help you keep your vision healthy by reducing heavy strain on your eyes.

1. Adjust your screen at work.

The closer your eyes are to your screen, the harder they work. Give your eyes a much-needed break by keeping your screen at a safe distance.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your monitor 25 inches away from your face. If you don’t have any measuring tape, just use the length of your arm. If you have trouble seeing, adjust your computer settings to enlarge the text.

Poor posture also contributes to vision problems. The top of your screen should be at eye level. By keeping your computer at this level, you should experience less back and neck tension.

Check out our guide on setting up your work desk for proper ergonomics here.

2. Give yourself a break from work.

Not only is it crucial for your mental health to take breaks from your work throughout the day, but it’s essential for your physical well-being, too. You can reduce eye strain by taking one 10-minute break every hour. 

While you’re on your break, don’t switch from staring at a computer screen to looking at your phone screen. That won’t relieve your eyes at all.

Take active work breaks, go for a walk, stretch, and move around. Take a stroll around your office, or do simple office stretches at your desk. Once you return to work, you’ll notice your eyes feeling much more refreshed.

3. Brighter is not better.

Don’t turn your brightness all the way up on your computer screen. If your screen is much brighter than your surroundings, your eyes strain more to see. Adjust your brightness level to match your surrounding workstation.

To improve your brightness levels, minimize other bright lights in the office if possible.

4. Don’t forget to blink.

When you’re concentrating, you might forget to blink. According to, people blink one-third as much as they normally do while staring at a screen.

Blinking is how our eyes naturally stay hydrated and refreshed. When you don’t blink, your eyes start to dry up as they become strained.

Making a habit to blink frequently while staring at a screen reduces tension. If your eyes feel dry, keep artificial tears at your desk. These lubricating eye drops can reduce irritation and help your eyes stay hydrated.

In conclusion, stay proactive while viewing a screen at work.

An office with ergonomics in mind is a happy office! Spread the word to your coworkers about how to take care of their eyes while spending most of the week on a computer. Through these simple techniques, you and your colleagues can reduce eye strain and feel healthier at the end of a long work week.

Now that you know how to relieve eye strain, explore other remedies for making life at the office healthier for your body. In fact, consider contacting our ergonomics consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. for an ergonomics assessment for your company.

Subscribe to our ergonomics blog to read more tips and tricks for keeping yourself healthy while you’re at work.

Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in: Seattle, WA, Tacoma, WA, Olympia, WA, Vancouver, WA, Kent, WA Renton, WA, Beaverton, OR, Portland, OR, Salem, OR, San Diego, CA, Carlsbad, CA, La Jolla, CA, Irvine, CA, Costa Mesa, CA, Newport Beach, CA.

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