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5 Ways to Prevent Eye Strain When Working a Desk Job

15 November 2022

The amount of screen time you get increases when you have to stare at a screen all day while working. This can have negative consequences, including a collection of eye and vision-related symptoms. These include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain.

Spending too much time looking at screens can have negative long-term consequences to your health. Continued exposure to blue light leads to damaged retinal cells and age-related muscular degeneration. Reducing your eye strain during your workday is pretty easy. All you need to do is implement these steps to promote better eye health throughout your day.

1. Change the Lighting

Both screen lighting and proper room lighting are incredibly important to avoid straining your eyes throughout the day. If your lights are too bright or too dim, you have a higher chance of straining your eyes and getting headaches.

Your computer screen should be bright enough that you do not need to squint but dim enough that it does not seem illuminated or like it is glowing.

You will also want to reduce any potential glare. You can test if there is glare on your screen by placing a folder over your head and seeing if it is easier to read. If it is, you are experiencing some glare.

You can decrease glare by using an anti-glare coating, placing a screen around your computer, or ensuring that there is no light source directly hitting your screen. Maintaining all of these things will help you to avoid straining your eyes throughout the day.

2. Make Your Font Size Bigger

If you are squinting while reading the text on your computer, you probably need to increase your font size. Doing this will help reduce the amount of stress your eyes are dealing with, and it can prevent any unneeded strain on your eyes, as well.

If it is possible, you can look into purchasing a larger monitor. Increasing the size of your computer screen will naturally increase the size of what is displayed on it, too.

It is important for the health of your eyes that you can easily see and read what is displayed on your monitor. Adjust the font settings as needed so that you are not straining your eyes while typing and reading.

3. Good Posture Is Key

You may not realize it, but your posture and your eyes are actually connected with each other. In fact, maintaining good posture is one of the main ways to prevent any strain on your eyes while working.

To sit at your desk with proper posture, begin by placing your feet flat on the floor and ensuring that your wrists are elevated slightly and not resting on your keyboard. You will also want to position your screen so that it sits just below your natural line of sight. You should have a slightly downward gaze, which is best for keeping proper posture.

Remember to sit up straight, as slouching can cause muscle tension in your back and shoulders. It also restricts the blood flow to your eyes, which can lead to vision problems. You can read more about how improper posture affects your physical health on our blog. It’s not something you should take lightly.

4. Take Breaks Often

Allow yourself the time to take several breaks throughout the day. If you need help knowing where to start, try implementing the 20-20-20 rule throughout your workday.

Every 20 minutes, shift your focus to something that is around 20 feet away from you for about 20 seconds. This will allow your eyes to rest and relax for a moment.

If you can, step away from your desk completely and get some water, go to the bathroom, or step outside for some fresh air. You naturally blink more when doing these things than when you are focused and staring at a screen. Therefore, your eyes will have a chance to rehydrate and relax.

You should set your desk up to look out a window or into your office space. Never put your desk so that you are facing a wall. Allowing yourself to have a view of something other than a wall keeps your eyes from focusing solely on the screen in front of you, which is necessary to prevent eye strain.

5. Block Out Blue Light When You Can

Blue light is everywhere, even in the sunlight when you step outside. However, computers and phones emit a concentrated stream of blue light in significant amounts, which can be rather difficult for your eyes to filter out.

Prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to eye strain, cause headaches, and have negative effects on your sleeping patterns. Therefore, you should try to block out blue light whenever you can.

You can start by trying out blue light glasses when viewing screens throughout the day. You should also make use of any built-in blue light filters on your devices. It is pretty standard for most computers and smartphones to come with this type of filter.

If you already wear prescription glasses, you can even include blue light blocking technology in them to help your eye health throughout your day.

Conclusion

Doing these things throughout your day will help promote better eye health while reducing the amount of strain your eyes endure throughout the day. You do not have to stop at these steps, though.

Be sure to check your prescription if you wear glasses to make sure that it is still accurate and helps your vision properly. You can also create tech-free spaces and times throughout your day to allow yourself to be away from screens.

Eye health is important, and working a desk job can negatively affect your eyes if you are not careful. However, taking the proper steps throughout your day can ease the strain on your eyes.