You know the feeling: eyes begin to squint, head starts to pulse, until finally you lose any sense of concentration. To be more specific, it’s eyestrain. You’ve worked five out of an eight hour day at your desk and your eyes can’t take it anymore.
The majority of desk jobs today require you to stare at a computer screen for a marathon period of time, but if you’re not looking for a career change, how do you prevent this from happening?
Read on and we’ll tell you.
Eyestrain is a common ailment among workers throughout the country, and symptoms can range from sore, dry eyes to a lack of focus and headaches. If you’re experiencing more severe symptoms like a noticeable change in vision or double vision, it’s time to see a doctor.
Not only does eyestrain occur from the extended use of a computer screen, but also from exposure to bright light, dry air and stress – all things workers come into contact with on a daily basis (those harsh fluorescent lights above your standing desk aren’t ideal for eyes).
Thankfully, eyestrain doesn’t have long-term consequences, which means you won’t go blind anytime soon. But it is an unpleasant complaint to deal with when you’re trying to focus at work. That’s why it’s important to learn how to prevent eyestrain before it starts, and to know what to do once your eyes start to blur.
Check out these steps on how to prevent eyestrain:
• Look Away
According to the Mayo Clinic, to prevent eyestrain you should give your eyes a break every 20 minutes. They suggest the 20-20-20 rule: look away from the computer every 20 minutes, and stare at something that’s 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Take this opportunity to make a phone call, switch from sitting to standing, or make a trip to the water cooler.
• Update Your Space
Having a flexible workspace is vital to health, happiness and productivity. And you can do this easily with an adjustable height desk. Sit to stand desks give you the freedom to move, make adjustments to fit your needs, and ultimately give those tired eyes a much needed break. So get moving and improve your workspace!
• Chill Out
It’s easier said than done, but take time to relax! Everyone experiences negative stress, but take a deep breath, close your eyes and chill out. Stress induces eyestrain, and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other harmful physical complications. Practice relaxation exercises to calm down when you’re feeling tense. And if that’s not enough, check out these songs to help you relax during a stressful day at the office HERE.
In honor of Halloween yesterday, we had to insert a cheesy joke somewhere! Ok, let’s move on. If you have to wear glasses or contacts, make sure they’re the correct prescription and tailored to work at a computer screen. If you want to get really fancy, you can invest in hi-tech computer glasses. They use anti-reflective coatings to reduce the glare from the computer screen. Check out this option HERE.
• Blink and Repeat
When was the last time you blinked? It sounds like a weird question, but think about it: you stare at a computer screen most of your day when you’re concentrating on work that needs your attention. And consistent staring leads to dry eyes and eyestrain, so don’t forget to blink! Blinking produces tears and moisture to lubricate your eyes and lessen the chance of strain.
The next time you find yourself with painful eyes, stand up, walk away, and come back and reread this post on how to prevent eyestrain before it starts. We can’t emphasize enough the benefits of using a flexible workstation as a preventative step. Having the freedom to sit, stand and move around does wonders for irritated eyes.
Try out these tips and let us know how it worked!