If you think your job is tough, think about your eyes. They work just as hard as you do when you're in the office and continue to do so when you take a break to play games on your phone, the tablet computer or watch television. Eye strain can cause more than just tired and dry eyes. Excessive eye strain can lead to headaches, blurred vision and double vision. With so much of our time spent looking at monitors and screens, we should take some time out to care for our eyes.
It's not only better for your posture, thinking about ergonomics (how your equipment fits the specific requirements of your body) can help increase comfort and reduce eye strain.
Here are some things you can do to reduce eye strain and ease the load on your hardworking orbs.
• Personalise your space
Everyone is different, so why shouldn't your computer screen setting, seating and lighting be any different?
- Position your chair and desk such that your elbows rest at a 90-degree angle on the desk and your back is supported. You should be able to place your feet flat on the ground.
- Ensure the space between your face (eyes) and the computer monitor is about 18 to 28 inches away. You should be looking at your screen at a slightly downward angle; the centre of the screen should be about 4 to 6 inches below your eyes.
- Customise the brightness and contrast setting of your monitor to a level that you are comfortable with and with which you can see text and images clearly.
- Magnify the text on your screen instead of straining to see.
- Make lighting work for you. Minimise bright overhead lighting and use task lighting - light that shines in your workspace. Keep window light to the side of you instead of behind or in front of your desk. If you can't change your seating position, position the computer monitor to reduce glare or get a glare screen.
• Rest your eyes
You need to take time away from close work to allow your eyes to rest. Try these tactics to reduce strain.
- Think 20-20-20. Every 20-minutes, take a 20-second break and look at a faraway object at least 20-feet (6 metres) away
- Rub your hands together they are warm. Place your hands over your face, covering your eyes with your fingers and resting your cheeks in your palms. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Hold the pose for about 15-seconds.
- Blink! During your 20-second break, you may also want to blink rapidly to lubricate the eyes and refresh them.