We’ve moved into a very digital age, where we seem to spend more time looking at screens than we do look away from them.
This has brought many positive changes, but it has also taken a toll on our bodies that are slow to adapt to such rapid change. The main parts of our bodies that are suffering are our backs from sitting, necks from bad posture, and our eyes from the strain of looking at the screen. Today, we’ll be focusing on the eyes and what you can do if your job depends on you to lock eyes with the screen all day long.
The most important thing you can do is to take regular breaks of two kinds.
The Short Break
The first is a short break, where you just change the focal length. This could be looking sporadically into your keyboard and the screen as you type, or simply looking away from the screen for a second. These very small changes where you just make your eyes focus on something that is at a different distance will keep your eye muscles from becoming lazy and your eyesight deteriorating. Think of it like this – when you are outside, looking around, you’re never focused on one single focal distance. You look down at the road to see where you’re going, you look up and around in the distance to see where you are and if you’re with someone, you look closely at them while you’re speaking. All of these changes in where the focus is keeps your eyes well trained, so try to replicate that in the office.
The Long Break
The second kind is when you completely walk away from the screen for at least ten minutes. This doesn’t mean this time needs to be spent just doing nothing and staring off into the distance – you can look away while you are having phone calls while you’re brainstorming or if you’re listening to some voicemail. These breaks help your eyes rest from the screen, and it will go a long way in preserving them.
Consult with Your Doctor
It’s not by chance that a lot of companies require employees to get regular eye checks. Prevention is key, and if you need glasses or some other aid to keep your eyes healthy – the sooner you can get it, the better. Your doctor might prescribe some medicine, like eye drops, and there are websites to help with your search and allow you to find the right medicine for you.
Invest in Good Tech
There are few things that can mess with your eyes as much as a bad screen. If your monitor isn’t well-calibrated, if it’s flickering, showing double or just doesn’t show good quality images – it will mess with your eyesight. When you are using something actively as much as you use your monitor, you want to make sure it’s of the highest quality to ensure you’re giving your eyes a fighting chance. Something that has a dense pixel count, a good color range, and is well-calibrated is essential. On top of that, you are going to want a big enough screen. If you are working on a laptop, consider setting up an external monitor and hooking your laptop to it when you’re at the office, because a bigger screen means less strain for your eyes.
Adopt Good Habits
We don’t usually think much further than looking when we’re considering eyesight, but we forget that our eyes are physical things – and that physical things affect them. If we rub our eyes, especially without first washing our hands, we’re putting some strain and pressure on them, and potentially introducing bacteria to the party. If we don’t sleep enough, our eyes will dry out more easily, because they didn’t get the 8-hour rest where they don’t need to do anything and are fully hydrated because they’re closed. And if we don’t wear sunglasses when we’re out in the sun – there will be sun damage. You might be all grown up now, but mom always said to eat your carrots because they’re good for your eyes – and mom was right.
A balanced diet will provide your eyes with the right vitamins to stay sharp. So, make sure you are living an overall healthy and balanced life because it affects your eyes as well.
In the end, our sight is so precious that most of us really can’t imagine our lives without it, and if changes as small as these can help you preserve it and keep your eyes healthy, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do it. Your future self will be very grateful for your contribution.