Eye health should be a focus when working from home

According to research, we spend a staggering 34 years of our lives staring at a screen. Whether it’s a phone, tablet, computer or television, our screen time equates to 4,866 hours a year!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, since the majority of businesses began working from home, the time that we have spent sitting in front of a computer screen during lockdown has risen by 44 minutes each day. Taking the daily total from four hours and 54 minutes to a whopping five hours and 10 minutes.

National Eye Health Care Week is just around the corner (21-27 September) there is plenty of advice for employees using laptops or computers.

Our recruitment partner, Karen Dykes explains that the use of screens is almost unavoidable in a modern business: “There aren’t many jobs nowadays that don’t require computers, laptops and tablets for some or all elements of the role. For millions of people, staring at a screen all day is the norm – especially with more people working from home in recent months and perhaps not taking the breaks they should.

“And add mobile phones into the mix, and it is little wonder that we are putting our eyes through a lot every day. Events like National Eye Health Week do really remind us just how precious our sight is, and how daily strains can take their toll.

“However, there are a number of easy checks and tips for staff when taking care of their eyes and ensuring their well-being while working from home, on the move or in the office.”

If you, like many others, spend much of your working day at a computer screen, we have some top tips to protect your eyes:

  • Check the screen is well positioned and properly adjusted – it is estimated that one in four users move the screen closer to focus on their work.Locate the computer screen four or five inches below your eye level.
  • Make sure lighting conditions are suitable and try and get as much natural light into your work area as possible. Adjust your screen lighting/brightness if possible.
  • Take regular breaks from screen work.
  • Blink! We naturally blink about 20 times every minute, but when focusing on a screen this can drop by as much as half. This means your eyes are at much greater risk of drying out when working on the computer.Consider using drops or artificial tears if your eyes become dry and uncomfortable.
  • Make sure your screen is clean to help reduce glare.

Did you know eye sight can give a glimpse into other areas of health?

  • Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives.
  • A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough.
  • During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.
  • For healthy eyes, eat well, don’t smoke and wear eye protection in bright sunlight.

As working from home looks set to continue until 2021, if not become a permanent part of many businesses’ operations, it is extremely important that employees take charge of their eye health.

For more details about National Eye Health Week visit http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/