Your life and eyes 3 min read

Tips to enhance visual comfort in the office

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Working in an office environment can be a hotbed for bad habits; office workers are often associated with a stereotype of being stressful, eating bad food and only taking a break to smoke. The truth is that an office environment can have a huge impact on your well-being and health for many different reasons. It’s important that you are able to spot the bad habits and make positive changes where possible.

Sat at a desk all day can have an impact on your posture and diet, as well as your vision. Office jobs are sedentary, which is difficult in a world where being active is heavily encouraged. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in your office is crucial, both for your physical and mental well-being.

One area of your health that an office environment can have the biggest impact is your vision. Digital screen, artificial lighting and looking at variable distances throughout the day can be really tough on your eyes. It can often result in something known as eye strain.

Woman sat at desk lifts up spectacles to rub tired eyes

What is eye strain?

Eye strain, also known as eye fatigue, is a common side effect where your eyes are working too hard. It is sometimes referred to as digital eye strain, because it happens most often when you have been using a digital device for a prolonged amount of time.

In its basic form, eye strain is simply when your eyes get tired. It isn’t serious, and usually goes away after you have rested or taken a break. However, you might experience symptoms like watery, dry or itchy eyes, blurred vision and headaches, which can be frustrating.

To reduce this, and to increase your visual comfort, there are a number of things you can do to ease the strain on your eyes.

Adjust the lighting in your office

It’s important that you adjust your surroundings to support your vision. If you regularly use a computer, you might want to adjust the display settings including brightness, text size and contrast. The brightness of your screen should match the brightness of your workstation.

Similarly, it would benefit your vision to reduce glare where possible. Glare can occur from light reflecting off of walls and reflections on your screen. Consider the positioning of your screen and, if possible, dimming the lights or changing the bulbs to provide a softer light in the office.

Take regular breaks

In a busy work environment, taking a break might seem impossible. However, regular breaks are good for your wellbeing and your vision. Moving away from your computer through the day can reduce the risk of eye strain, and also gives you a chance to move and stretch.

Sitting at a desk can have a negative impact on your posture and can cause tension in your neck, back and shoulders.

Woman sat at her desk experiencing shoulder and neck pain

Set up your desk correctly

Poor posture can be a contributing factor to eye strain. Take a moment to look at your workstation; your computer screen should be about 20 inches from your eyes, and the centre of your screen should be about 10 degrees below your eyes. This promotes a comfortable position for your head and neck, making it much easier to see.

While sitting at your desk, you might want to try some simple eye exercises to keep your eyes feeling fresh. The 20-20-20 rule is a popular one.

Wearing lenses optimised for close distance

Above all other advice, it’s important that you attend regular eye examinations to ensure your eyes are in a healthy condition. Your optometrist is able to pick up on any vision problems and provide the right solution.

You may benefit from wearing lenses that are optimised for close distance work. This can relieve the strain on your eyes and restore your visual comfort throughout the day. Eyezen lenses are designed especially for use with digital devices, preventing eye strain by delivering sharp vision. Even if you don’t need a prescription, you can wear Eyezen lenses.

Man holding smartphone looking at laptop screen

Alternatively, Varilux X series lenses are an ideal solution for presbyopia. Providing clear vision and an easy-to-wear design, Varilux X series lenses have a seamless transition between the different vision zones. This can support your vision as you move between different distances, reducing the need for your eyes to overwork themselves.

Your optometrist will be able to advise on the best lens type for your individual needs.


Discover Essilor's lenses for screens


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