The possibility of implementing 10 hour working days has been a hot topic at Optimum7 for the past few weeks now. I’m still undecided as to whether or not I’m for or against the idea. While the thought of having Fridays free is appealing, my health does come first. As an SEO copywriter, I spend my days sitting at a desk, behind a computer screen, writing my little heart out. It’s not for everyone, but I love it. This is my first real taste at working life, my first full time position since graduation.
I’m only just now beginning to realize, however, how difficult it can be at times, to stare at a computer screen for a standard working day—let alone 10 hours. It can take its toll on you and cause your eyes to strain. If you’re like me, your eyelids will get sore and heavy after a couple of hours, and you will experience fatigue. It is an unpleasant feeling and can harm your productivity. Some people even experience blurred vision, headaches or double vision. Lucky for me, I haven’t experienced that yet! If you experience these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
After discussing eyestrain with my team, we came up with a few quick solutions for our office. Let’s hope they help you to get through the day as well.
Like most people, I am aware that taking breaks can help to significantly reduce eyestrain. Unfortunately, like most people, I’m guilty of sacrificing break time in order to get the work done. While it’s important to meet all your deadlines, it’s also important to step outside for a breath of fresh air, to stretch, and most importantly, to rest your eyes. Even if it’s simply taking a brief moment to look away from the glare of the computer screen, it will help ease discomfort and boost your productivity. As a rule of thumb, try the 20/20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes, take your eyes off the computer and focus on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Take a moment to massage your upper and lower eyelids every now and then. Other eye exercises such as blinking often and quickly also do the trick as it refreshes your eyes. It’s working for me! Go on, try it.
Adjusting Computer Settings
Eyestrain can be considerably reduced by simply adjusting your computer settings. You might want to increase the resolution of your computer screen and change the brightness and contrast levels on your monitor. Adjusting the distance between you and your computer screen is also a good idea. The recommended distance is 20 inches. If you’re having trouble reading fonts from a distance, a convenient feature is the zoom button on Microsoft Office and various web browsers. This feature allows you to zoom in on the text as much as you like, making it easier for you to read what’s on the screen from a distance with minimal strain on your eyes.
Bright lighting in the office will only add to the problem of eyestrain. We recently discussed the possibility of introducing ambient lighting in our office to help combat eyestrain. If you replace bright lights with ambient lighting, it will not only help to reduce eyestrain, but may also increase your productivity. Our office is considering turning off overhead bright lights and using adjustable desk lamps instead. Affordable desk lamps for the office can be found at IKEA. The more focused lighting will allow you to focus better on the computer screen and block outside distractions. Not to mention, ambient lighting looks awesome.
Anti Glare Screen Protectors
Other tools to help combat eyestrain at work are anti glare screen protectors. As the name suggests, the product is placed over the monitor and reduces the glare from the computer screen.
Anti glare screen protectors are available for purchase from Amazon.