Today’s innovating trends and technological advancement in the workplace bring a lot of benefits to the people. Not only do they help them to create better work results faster, but they also ensure accuracy and efficiency. Computers, for instance, are essential tools in the workplace that contribute to the accomplishment of the company’s goals. However, if you’re using a computer for more than two hours a day, you probably are already aware that it can be dangerous to your health. Staring at the computer screen for long hours a day can lead to tired eyes, muscle aches, eye strain, and headaches. All these are symptoms of computer vision syndrome, which is now a common health concern of medical and working professionals.
Some of us may still lack information about computer vision syndrome, and how this can affect the level of productivity at work. This can also cause an employee to make more mistakes due to decreased focus and concentration at work.
If you’re an employee or a freelancer who spends most of your time working on your laptop or desktop computer, then extra caution must be considered. You should learn how to prevent or manage computer vision syndrome to ensure optimum performance at work.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer vision syndrome (CVS) mainly refers to the eye problems acquired by using a computer. It is more than just experiencing discomfort in your eyes. Several studies reveal that 50% to 90% of people in the world are working in an environment where computers serve as one of the common tools.
A comprehensive study conducted by the American Optometric Association defines computer vision syndrome as:
“a complex of eye and vision problems related to the activities which stress the near vision and which are experienced in relation, or during the use of the computer.”
According to the same study, the most common complaints from the workers are related to vision and eyesight. Also stated in the study is that the majority of the respondents suffer from the visual symptoms of this health situation, including eye strain, double vision, blurred vision and eye irritation.
As innovations are introduced in the workplace, and more and more people are utilizing computers, computer vision syndrome becomes a primary health issue.
Common Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome
WebMD mentioned in one of its articles that regular use of computers could bring discomfort and eye strain. Common symptoms of computer vision syndrome include dry eyes, neck pain, double vision, back pain, eye irritation, blurred vision, and headaches.
How Do Computers Cause Vision Problems?
Computer vision syndrome is closely similar to repetitive strain injury(RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome. This results when our activities require a lot of effort for our organs to function. When we use a computer at work, our eyes need to focus and refocus for long hours. Our eyes move back and forth when we are reading something. Looking up and down on your paperwork can also cause stress in the eyes. Not only that, but our eyes also put a lot of pressure when they shift, move, shift, and change focus. That process sends varying images to the brain at a rapid pace. Staring on your computer screen requires a ton of effort from the eye muscles. That can make things worse, leading to having a blurred vision while working.
Computer Vision Syndrome: Does it Affect your Productivity at Work?
The eyes need to work harder when staring at a computer screen. That makes people susceptible to acquire vision-related issues such as computer vision syndrome.
Computer vision syndrome creates eye strains and fatigue, thus, making workers to have a decreased energy in performing their tasks. They tend to become less motivated because they can’t concentrate effectively.
Yes, people who are feeling pain and discomfort can be less productive at work. This is how computer vision syndrome is affecting one’s work performance. There can be times when quotas are not met due to absences.
Every company owner must be reminded of how important it is to pay attention to the risk of computer vision syndrome in the workplace. Some solutions can work effectively when appropriately implemented.
Some Helpful Tips How to Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome
The following are the helpful tips that may prevent having computer vision syndrome.
#1 Apply proper lighting in the workplace. Check your workplace for glares that may add unnecessary light in your computer and other parts of the workstation. Aim to reduce the effect of glare on your computer. You can also install a dimmer switch in your workstation, so lighting will not be too bright. Another smart tip is to use a desk lamp. Choose a desk lamp that has a moveable shade so its light can cast on your desk evenly.
#2 Ergonomically arrange your desk. You must arrange your desk and apply proper ergonomics to it. The ideal position of your monitor is to keep it 20-28 inches away from you. Make sure not to stretch your neck to reach your monitor screen. Make your desk as organized as possible, so you will not waste time finding items that you need for work.
#3 Follow the 20-20-20 rule to give your eyes a break. Make sure to take a break or look away from the computer screen every 20 minutes. Find something relaxing to look at around 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Also, it would be helpful to blink often, so you will keep your eyes moist. You can also use eye drops when you feel that your eyes feel dry.
#4 Personalize your work settings. You can design and set up your workstation with a personal touch. Include items that will keep you calm and relaxed. For instance, you can have your wall painted with a relaxing colour. Or, you can also add indoor plants to bring in fresh air and calmness. Make sure to adjust the contrast and brightness of your computer screen.
#5 Choose a quality ergonomic chair. Your seating position can also contribute to having a computer vision syndrome. That is why it is vital to find a comfortable chair that is adjustable and has padding. Also, remember that when you sit, you should keep your feet on the floor. You can also use an ergonomic tray so you will keep your wrists comfortable.
#6 Make sure to have regular eye examinations. The experts know very well if you’re fit to work or not. You should take care of your eyes because issues related to your vision can sometimes lead to even worse problems. Have a regular check-up so you will get the proper advice from your doctor.
Working in front of the computer can cause vision syndrome. As always, prevention will be the most effective way to avoid bigger problems in the future. Follow the tips mentioned above, and keep on taking action to keep yourself motivated.