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Simple tips to look after your eyes at the office

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The average office worker will spend almost 1,700 hours a year in front of a computer screen, according to a recent study. The investigation into screen time at work by ACUVUE revealed workers will spend an average of 6.5 hours a day sitting in front of a computer or laptop.

Katie McGeechan from ACUVUE told The Independent: “Computers are a relatively new concept – for millions now, staring at a screen all day is the norm. However, if you look back just a few decades, far fewer of us would have spent the day looking into the same glowing rectangle, and when you add mobile phones into the mix, we’re putting our eyes through a lot every day.”

Around 53% of respondents to ACUVUE’s survey said they aim to take regular time away from their screen to make sure they don’t suffer from tiredness or eye strain. However, of those who don’t take frequent breaks, 48% believe they suffer from the symptoms of eye dryness and tiredness.

Technology is taking over the world, and with many of us working eight-hour shifts in front of a screen, it’s never been more important to protect our eyes. Here are some simple but effective tips to help you look after your eyes.

How to look after your eyes at work

Screens

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Dim your lighting

As the working day draws to a close, and you tally up the hours spent staring at a bright screen, you may notice that your eyes feel increasingly tired. This happens for a very simple reason: if there’s not enough contrast between black and white, your eyes will struggle to distinguish between the different items on your screen, leading to eye strain and eye fatigue. The solution is simple - turn down your screen’s brightness and increase the contrast. You will immediately feel more comfortable, as the softer lighting will help your eyes relax.

Adjust the height of your monitor

Human eyes are naturally positioned to hold a specific line of gaze. If your computer screen is not in your ‘normal’ eye path, your eyes will need to constantly work to stare in an unnatural direction. Optical experts suggest adjusting the height of your monitor. Position your computer screen no higher than eye level; specifically, an inch or two below the level of your eyes when you’re sitting up straight. This will help to reduce eye stress.

Close up green eyes

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Give your eyes a break

If you’re suffering from dry eyes and eye strain because of your continued use of digital devices, try adopting the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet away. Frequent short breaks are better than fewer long ones; if you don’t feel like going for a coffee break every hour, you can perform a very easy eye exercise while sitting at your desk. Just turn your gaze away and focus on a distant object, to relax the focus muscles in your eyes.

Keep your eyes hydrated

Lubricating your eyes with eye drops can help to prevent the feelings of discomfort associated with dry eyes. One of the reasons why you might suffer from dry eyes at work is your reduced blinking rate. While the average person blinks around 20 times a minute, you only blink around 7 times a minute when spending long periods of time in front of a screen. Blinking helps the eye clear away dust particles, and spreads lubricating oils and fluids across the surface of the eye to keep your eyes hydrated and healthy. Eye drops serve the same purpose, keeping your eyes moist when your blinking rate is at its lowest.