Staying Healthy at The Office - Week 2:
Avoiding Eyesight Diminishment at The Office
Vision problems are one of the most common complaints from office workers. There are many causes that can contribute to issues with the eyes. From staring at monitors for too long to inadequate office lighting, working in an office can wreak havoc on your ability to see clearly.
Why Proper Lighting Is Critical
Photo credit: frankieleon via VisualHunt / CC BY
For years computers, or their screens, have presented major problems for office lighting designers. With the monitor or laptop themselves being a source of light, it makes it difficult to come up with lighting solutions. The fact that most office workers read using lighted monitors and paper, a whole new challengee is presented to the office designers. The glare from fluorescent lights on your monitor can be extremely harsh on your eyes. It can cause your eyes even more strain than just that of staring at a computer monitor all day. A glare-free monitor can save you definite trouble. When lighting reflects too much on your screen, it can cause you to unknowingly contort your body and possibly result in even more aches and pains. Though anti-glare screens are available, they’ll typically change the quality of what you’re trying to view, forcing you to compensate by either squinting or shifting into an uncomfortable position. Not to mention, most monitors made today already have low-glare screens.
Steps You Can Take to Reduce Eye Strain
While everyone’s eyes react different to different stimuli, having your eyes try and focus on multiple light sources and different lighting patterns, while still trying to adjust for near or far-sightedness can be terribly hazardous to your visual health. The ability to focus on objects from a distance gets more difficult as you grow older. Generally, by your mid-forties, your ability to see up close is degenerated somewhat. A lot of older people need more light to see, as their eyes have been strained by older technology over the course of decades. That being said, uncorrected vision can also increase the risk of eye strain and it’s highly recommended to always wear corrective lenses while working in an office setting. Depending on your normal vision needs, the average time you spend reading on monitors or a range of other factors, your doctor may recommend bifocals or a completely different pair of reading glasses just for work. If you looked at your monitor right now would you see a reflection? If so, it’s time to upgrade. Let your eyes work smarter, not harder, to help you do your work and to help you maintain the integrity they have now. Some steps you can take to alleviate the stress your eyes incur from so many hours of looking at light are, looking away for a few minutes; blink your eyes repeatedly for about 10-15 second once an hour; look around often. Doing these exercises, or stretches frequently will help prevent these feelings of fatigue from accumulating.
Your Sitting Position
Believe it or not, your posture can greatly affect how your eyes might be strained. The distance at which you sit from your computer screen will dictate how hard your eyes work. Proper ergonomic posture requires your feet to be flat on the ground, with your back straight and your elbows by your sides, wrists on your desk. Should you feel the need to lean in toward or away from your screen you may need to talk to an ophthalmologist about your vision difficulties while at work.