Home and office workers urged to focus on eye health
UK adults spend almost half of the day in front of a screen – new research has revealed.
A change in working conditions and spending more time at home during the pandemic has undoubtedly seen an increase in hours spent in front of a laptop or computer, browsing the Internet and watching television.
In addition, we spend an average of 1.8 hours a day on social media; adding up to an average of 4,542 hours in front of a screen each year, according to a study from comparison site Uswitch.
National Eye Health Care Week (20-26 September) aims to encourage the public to be ‘eye aware’ with a series of initiatives inspiring greater up-take of routine sight tests and highlighting the role healthy lifestyles play in preventing avoidable sight loss.
And with even more people now logging on at home, there is plenty of advice for laptop users whether they have returned to the office or continue to work remotely.
Keeping a focus on eye health is as important as any other area of our wellbeing, says Nel Woolcott – recruitment partner at Peterborough-based Anne Corder Recruitment.
She said: “For millions of people, staring at a screen all day is the norm – especially with more people working from home during the pandemic and perhaps not taking the breaks they should.
“Add mobile phones into the mix; with social media, news feeds and Internet searches, and it is little wonder that we are putting our eyes through a lot every day.
“Events like National Eye Health Week do really remind us just how precious our sight is, and how daily strains can take their toll.
“However, there are a number of easy checks and tips for staff when taking care of their eyes and ensuring their well-being while working from home, on the move or in the office.”
If you spend much of your working day at a computer screen:
- Check the screen is well positioned and properly adjusted – it is estimated that one in four users move the screen closer to focus on their work. Locate the computer screen four or five inches below your eye level.
- Make sure lighting conditions are suitable and try and get as much natural light into your work area as possible. Adjust your screen lighting/brightness if possible.
- Take regular breaks from screen work.
- Blink! We naturally blink about 20 times every minute, but when focusing on a screen this can drop by as much as half. This means your eyes are at much greater risk of drying out when working on the computer.
- Make sure your screen is clean to help reduce glare.
Did you know?
- Two million people in the UK are living with sight loss, that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives.
- A sight test can detect early signs of conditions like glaucoma, which can be treated if found soon enough.
- During a sight test, other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure may be detected.
- Regular exercise can reduce your risk of degenerative eye conditions; as can adopting a healthy diet/lifestyle and protecting the eyes in bright sunlight.
- Despite the challenges of 2020, last year’s campaign raised optics up the public health agenda with Google searches around ‘eye health’ peaking during the Week – up more than 20 per cent on the next highest point in the year. For more details about National Eye Health Week visit http://www.visionmatters.org.uk/
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