Designing the Workplace for Eye Wellness
Nowadays, many spend hours in front of a computer screen during their day job, and this is expected. We as a society depend heavily on technology in order to accomplish day to day tasks in a more efficient matter. While technology is valuable, it does have a dark side. Being exposed to blue screens for long periods of time can increase the likelihood of a person developing eye strain as well as vision problems, and this can ultimately lead to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). The most common indicators of Computer Vision Syndrome include:
• Back pain
• Neck and shoulder pain
• Dry eyes
• Red eyes
• Blurred vision
• Eye twitching
In fact, the comprehensive use of tablets, smartphones, as well as computers nowadays has caused about 70% of adult Americans to undergo some form of digital eyestrain according to a report from the Vision Council. However, there are preventive measures that one can take.
It’s March, so that means it is Workplace Eye Wellness Month, and in recognition we bring you a few ways on how to design the workplace for eye wellness.
1. At each workstation make sure the computer monitor has, at least, a 19-inch diagonal screen that can tilt or swivel, and is placed anywhere from 20-28 inches away from the worker’s eyes. In addition, the computer monitor should be placed about 4 to 5 inches below eye level.
2. Having improper posture can also contribute to the risk of developing Computer Vision Syndrome, so make sure you offer adjustable ergonomic chairs for all workers. Read our previous article here in order to find out how to find and pick out the perfect ergonomic chair.
3. Make sure everyone in the office knows how to adjust the settings on their computer monitor. Everyone should know how to adjust the screen text size, contrast, brightness, as well the color temperature for their comfort.
4. If possible, offer an open workspace or other places for people to sit and work, this way workers have the option to change their location if where the place they are sitting at has some sort of visual disturbance that is hurting their eyes and can’t be resolved. This could be the sun in their eyes, or from sun glare reflecting off of a desk, so make sure the office allows for ease of movement and placement options in order to help prevent any additional eye strain risks.
5. Be mindful of your lighting, and if you must, avoid placing monitors near windows. In addition, change your lighting in order to lower the possibility of glare and harsh reflections. Make sure you have blinds or curtains on the windows, and purchasing glare filters to place over the computer screen can also be helpful. You can also buy anti-glare computer monitors and invest in some anti-glare paint for the office walls.
6. Encourage workers to leave their workstation while on break in order to help prevent the overexertion of the eyes, body and mind. Offer warm and inviting employee lounges or other areas where employees can take a break, refresh and relax. You also want employees to be able to stretch their muscles and get the blood flowing, so you might want to have areas where people can take a walk and move around. Doing this is not only beneficial to the person, but will also help lead to increased productivity among workers.
7. Design the office with aesthetics in mind. Allow for plants or artwork to be placed inside the office and encourage everyone to follow the 20-20-20 rule regularly in order to help prevent eye strain. This means every 20 minutes they take a 20-second break to look at something that is about 20 feet away. Give them something pleasant to look at in order to help the encouragement, but make sure it’s not too distracting.