Eye Health Among UK Employees is in Crisis, Study Shows

Eye Health Among UK Employees Is In Crisis, Study Shows

Healthy vision is crucial to employee performance and workplace safety, but a recent study reveals that current working practices are negatively affecting UK employees’ eye health. According to a survey by Specsavers, 40% of employees work in front of a screen for over two hours without a break. Meanwhile, 84% admit to breaking the recommended 20-20-20 rule, instead working much longer than 20 minutes without resting their eyes for at least 20 seconds.

Aside from increasing workers’ feelings of unproductivity and tiredness, working long hours on screen can also compromise eye health. Without proper rest, employees can develop digital eye strain, with symptoms varying from dry eyes and headaches to blurred. Such findings urge employers and employees alike to adopt the following eye care practices in the workplace, ultimately supporting productivity and overall well-being.

Encouraging Work Breaks

Part of why employees work consecutive hours in front of the screen is the prevailing workplace culture. A survey of over 4,000 adults across various industries in the UK reveals that over a third (36%) do not believe their employers encourage them to take screen breaks. This is despite breaks significantly impacting workers’ energy, performance, and stress levels.

As previously mentioned, working without breaks can strain the eyes and dry them out, making it essential for employers to make rest an integral part of a workday. Whether it’s spent drinking tea or simply stretching, a short 15-minute break can go a long way.

Wearing Computer Glasses

Computer use in the workplace can no longer be avoided in the age of digital transformation, but workers can still practise preventive measures to prevent eye conditions caused by extended screen time. Specifically, they can wear blue light glasses designed to block glare and the High Energy Visible (HEV) blue light emitted by most modern electronic devices.

By reducing blue light exposure, workers can maintain visual comfort and avoid straining their eyes. Optical retailer Glasses Direct offers lens technology like BlueReflect™ lenses to increase contrast in front of digital screens and KODAK UVBlue Lens for improved colour perception among individuals with a single-vision prescription.

Adjusting the Work Environment

Besides protective eyewear, employees can also take the initiative to maintain their eye health by adjusting the work environment. A previous article listing digital tools for employee health and well-being includes a computer program called F.lux, which can automatically adjust the monitor’s colour display settings to reduce blue light exposure.

Additionally, investing in workplace ergonomics can also make a difference in employees’ visual comfort. Desks, chairs, and computer monitors with the proper height in relation to the field of view can help relieve physical pressure on the eyes and the rest of the body despite prolonged sitting in front of screens.

Scheduling Routine Eye Tests

Lastly, employees can benefit from scheduling routine eye exams, as optometrists can detect and address potential vision issues early on. For example, they can provide ways to manage eye strain and conduct visual acuity tests to ensure eyesight has not worsened due to screen time.

Since healthcare access and costs can be a barrier to attending eye exams, UK employers can invest in vision insurance plans that connect their employees to a network of eye health professionals and cover their fees fully or partially.

Considering the importance of eye health in the workplace and daily life, employees must also adopt proper eye care habits such as sun protection even outside working hours.

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.