Recent data shows the average person spends 8 hours 45 minutes a day on electronic devices. The new research from Ofcom has revealed that 15 million internet users have taken a ‘digital detox’ in a bid to strike a technology balance.
Over-exposure to a wide range of digital devices – particularly those that are used in close proximity to the face such as computer screens, tablets or smart phones – can have a number of damaging effects on the overall health of your eyes.
Headaches, an inability to focus properly, sensitivity to light, very watery or very dry eyes and blurred vision are all common symptoms – and if left untreated, can develop into more serious long-term conditions. It doesn’t necessarily mean going cold turkey either as there are lots of small, simple changes employees can make on a daily basis to give their eyes the break they need.
Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) regulations 1992, amended in 2002, employers must provide eyecare for all ‘screen users’. This includes funding glasses if require solely for screen use. There are specific definitions of screen users under the regulations, relating to time spent at the screen and whether the role can be completed without screen use. Generally, however, we find it to be more cost effective to include all employees under one simple low-cost scheme.
- Encourage employees to rest their eyes regularly by (for example) looking away from the computer screen
- Implement regular screen breaks
- Ensure adequate lighting for working on computers or devices
- Reduce the glare by providing anti-glare screens to attach to computer monitors
- Adjust monitor settings
- Implement an eyecare policy and regular eyesight checks
- Understand and comply with Health and Safety regulations on Display Screen Equipment