An office worker’s guide to eye health

If you work in a typical office environment, it’s likely that your job requires you to sit in front of a computer monitor for the majority of your day. Unfortunately, looking at a screen can take its toll on your eye health, so it’s important you know how to take care of this aspect of your wellbeing.

In this blog, we take a look at the ways you can make sure your eyes stay in tiptop condition while you’re at work.

Adjust your position

It’s a well known fact that the way you sit at your office desk can be detrimental to your posture and back health. However, not many people know your position can have an impact on eye health too. The truth is, if your computer screen is positioned too low or too high, you might find that you have to crane your neck and strain your eyes to see it properly. So, to avoid hurting yourself in this way, and to create a more comfortable overall desk setup, it’s worth adjusting your monitor so that it’s in a more suitable position.

Ideally, your monitor should be placed about 50cm away from your eyes with the middle of the screen between 10 and 15 degrees below your line of sight. To achieve this, you should be able to use the readjustment mechanism on the back of the monitor itself. Alternatively, you may need to use a specially designed monitor stand to get yours to the right height. You should also make sure your office chair is positioned at the correct height.

Get the lighting just right

It’s extremely important that your workspace is properly illuminated. A poorly lit area can seriously impact your wellbeing - especially when it comes to your eye health. If the area is too bright or too dark, you could find that you start to suffer with problems such as eye strain, as well as other issues including headaches and fatigue.

Ideally, your computer workstation should be suitably lit without any light reflecting off your computer screen or the desk surface. If you can, try to position your workstation near a window to make the most of the available natural light. If this isn’t possible, you may want to use an anti-glare cover on your screen.

The lighting in your office may be out of your control, but if you find that it’s affecting your eye health and overall wellbeing, you should raise your concerns with your manager.

Tweak your computer settings

You might not think twice about your computer screen settings, but tweaking them could help take any unnecessary strain off your eyes. For example, you could adjust the brightness and contrast of the monitor so that it suits your surroundings. You may also want to tweak the text size so that you’re not squinting your eyes to read the screen. You can usually do this by simply using the buttons located on the monitor itself.

Take regular breaks

Did you know that staring at a computer screen all day can mean that you blink less often? It might seem obvious, but blinking is crucial in order to keep your eyes lubricated and healthy. So, even though you may be concentrating on the task at hand, if you’re not blinking enough, it could mean that your eyes end up feeling gritty and sore.

To avoid your eyes becoming irritated while you work, it’s important that you take regular breaks away from your desk. Whether you get up to retrieve something from the printer or you head to the kitchen to make a cup of tea, this short break will give you chance to rest your eyes for a moment before you get back to work.

Use the 20-20-20 rule

Focusing on one thing for too long can make your eyes feel tired and dry. So, to prevent this from happening while you’re working at your computer, you could try using the 20-20-20 rule. Every twenty minutes, avert your gaze from your screen to an object located about twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This is a quick and simple technique that can help relax the muscles in your eyes, preventing them from becoming sore and tired throughout the day.

Drink more water

Between attending meetings and staying on top of your workload, it can be difficult to make sure you’re drinking enough water. However, failing to consume the recommended daily intake will not only leave you feeling dehydrated, but could mean  that your eyes start to suffer too.

According to experts, you should be drinking between six and eight glasses of water per day. If not, your eyes may start to feel dry, especially if your office is particularly warm. To avoid this, you should make a conscious effort to drink more liquids during the working day. As a result, you should find that you feel more energised and that you no longer suffer with eye dryness.

Go for frequent eye tests

Regardless of whether you already wear glasses or not, it’s crucial that you get your eyes tested frequently. According to the NHS, you should go for an eye appointment every two years. This test is essential to maintain clear, comfortable vision, and it can help detect any eye-related conditions, such as glaucoma, as well as spot potential problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.

There’s no denying that your eye health is extremely important - especially when you’re at work. By putting these tips into practice, you should be able to maintain healthy vision.

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