43% of adults work at jobs that require the usage of smartphones, work computers and other digital devices for two hours or more daily. The increased screen time makes it increasingly difficult to avoid blue light exposure and computer vision syndrome (CVS). It also opens workers up to increasingly serious threats to their vision, health and productivity. This is a real issue because workers must be able to lead healthy comfortable lives while remaining gainfully employed.
Computer Vision Syndrome in the Workplace
Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain, features symptoms like
- blurred vision
- eye strain
- dry, red, irritated eyes
- neck and back pain
These symptoms are the most common workplace complaint or injury among workers. The symptoms are usually not permanent, although they could really cause serious issues. The longer you spend in front of a screen, the more vulnerable you are to experiencing CVS and they will have an impact on your comfort, productivity and ability to focus.
Blue Light Exposure
A good night’s sleep is an important part of a worker’s daily routine to remain fresh and attentive to be successful at work. Unfortunately, Blue light or high-energy visible (HEV) radiation exposure might cause long-term effects to your retina. This is just another negative effect of prolonged digital device use. Studies show that blue light exposure will also disrupt your sleep cycle. The next morning and throughout the day you will experience difficulty to focus and you’ll be less alert. Devices are unavoidable in the workplace, however, its best to stay away from using devices at least 2 hours before bedtime, if possible.
Computer Eyewear and Workspace Ergonomics
Common sense dictates that you need to be proactive to protect your eyes and overall health in the workplace. Proper warm white lighting using coated lightbulbs, not LED lighting, will decrease blue light. You can put screens over your computer screen, which block out some of the blue light emitted. There are filter apps that can be downloaded to your device to filter the blue light and adjust the screen brightness based on the time of day. Another excellent idea is to take short breaks over the course of the workday.
Bethesda Vision Care has computer glasses with anti-glare and blue light blocking just for you. Make an appointment today for an eye exam and work needs evaluation. We have the solution for you!
The 20/20/20 Rule
Developing proper work posture and screen habits are very important for your eye health and general health. Staying in the same prone position for a long period of time will also cause neck, back, and shoulder pain as well. You need to make sure that your computer screen is at the right height and looking down below eye level. Reference materials need to be located between the keyboard and bottom of the monitor and rest your feet flat on the floor.
Most importantly, you need to follow a very simple, very effective solution to help reduce the symptoms of CVS.
The 20/20/20 Rule: For every 20 minutes of screentime, give yourself a 20-second break and focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away. This will give your eyes the break they need. Also be sure to take a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of continuous computer use. These breaks will also give your eyes a chance to remoisten and blink. This will also greatly reduce your chance of developing dry eye.
Remember, filters and computer glasses are not enough. Get into a proper routine in order to combat the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome. Your eyes and body will thank you.