Our eyes are a complex organ encompassed by muscles that can be overworked. Studies show that 50% to 90% of people who work on computers have some symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
CVS, also known as Digital Eye Strain, is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries. It is not one specific issue but a range of eye strain and vision-related problems. CVS occurs when our eyes are focused on a computer or display for long, uninterrupted periods of time, following the same path over and over.
Common symptoms include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, eye strain, and neck and shoulder pain.
Here are a few steps you can take to help prevent the onset of CVS and reduce eye strain.
Take breaks often: Every hour or so, take a break from looking at a screen. Walk over to the office kitchen for coffee or water, say hello to a colleague nearby, or do a lap around the office. Moving around will help you feel more energized while giving your eyes a much needed rest from the glare of a screen.
Modify your workstation: Setting up an ergonomic workstation will help prevent eye strain and fatigue. Light levels along with monitor distance and placement reduce headaches, eye fatigue and neck strain. Place desk lights, such as the Humanscale Element Disc Light, over paper documents and away from your monitor to prevent glare. Monitors should be arms distance away, at least 20 inches, and the center of your screen should reach eye level. Using a monitor arm allows for effortless adjustments.
Observe the 20-20-20 rule: If you work on a computer all day, you can reduce eye strain with this rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to shift your focus on something 20 feet away. Make this rule work for you. If every 30 minutes is better, try a 30-20-20 approach. It’s more important to give your eyes a break than to stick to 20 minutes. Find a schedule that works with the way you work.
Blink: It sounds simple enough, nevertheless people tend to blink less frequently when working on a computer. This leads to dry, red eyes. Making a conscious effort to blink more will keep eyes moist.
If you are experiencing eye strain, neck pain, or headaches at the office, visit your local Relax The Back location to speak with one of our trained specialists. They can assist you with a workstation setup to prevent pain throughout the day.