Office ergonomics almost always focus on ensuring the limbs, neck and torso are maintained in a comfortable and supported position.. but what about your EYES? This part of the body is often woefully neglected when it comes to creating a healthy office environment but Workplace Eye Awareness Month, which runs throughout March, attempts to rectify this situation.
Computers, mobile phones and TV equipment are standard pieces of kit for almost everyone, whatever kind of work they are involved in. We all use these items in our free time as well, meaning that people today are spending many, many hours with their sensitive and complex eyes glued to a screen. Extended periods of screen-time can lead to:
- General pain and discomfort
- A feeling that the eyes are ‘tired’
- Eyestrain from focusing on small text, leading to permanent sight damage
- General fatigue and a reduction in the sense of wellbeing
- Headaches, particularly in those who suffer from migraine attacks
- Visible symptoms such as parched or red eyes
The Importance of Blinking
The reason that we blink is to moisturise and lubricate the eye and this usually happens between 12 and 14 times every minute. As we focus our eyes on a computer screen or other kind of digital display has been shown to reduce this rate by anywhere from 33% to 50%, causing the eyes to become dried out, sore and painful.
Here are some tips to avoid eyestrain in the workplace:
- Keep your Distance – Stay at least an arm’s length away from the screen. Close-up focusing is more demanding on the eyes and increasing the size of the type on the display while keeping your distance is preferable to being close to small type
- Beware of Glare – make sure the display settings are appropriate so this issue is minimised. Good task lighting and increased contrast can help
- Rest & Relax – just the same as your wrists can be damaged by carpal tunnel syndrome from typing too much, your eyes can be damaged in a similar way. Stick to a 20/20/20 rule – take a break each 20 minutes and, during this, stare at an object 20ft away for 20 seconds
- Let there be Light – choosing correct lighting for your unique premises is essential and you should seek expert help on the range of products available. DBI stock a broad selection of quality task lighting and our dedicated space planning team can provide the most competent advice
Workplace Eye Awareness Month is the perfect time to start considering your visual health and that of your employees. Start your journey with our selection of Task Lighting!