We're in the 'decade of digital dependency' according to experts, glued to our screens wherever we go.
One report found that 40% of adults look at their phones within five minutes of waking up, leaping to 65% for those under 35. Millions of us then go to work to spend the day staring at computer screens, before returning home to watch the TV, or browse social media. Aside from the psychological and sociological implications of so much screen time, what is this doing to our eyes? One of the most common effects of staring at back-lit screens for long periods of time is eye strain. Symptoms of eye strain include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurred vision
This happens for two reasons. The first is that when we look at a screen, our blink rate drops by about 50%. Blinking is what keeps our eyes hydrated, and not doing so can result in a dry, gritty feeling. The second is muscle fatigue. If focus is maintained for long periods, the muscles controlling the lens can become overworked and tired. Share and download our poster, designed to help office workers take better care of their eyes.
To find out more about the risks of using display screen equipment (DSE) for prolonged periods, head to our guide to DSE health and safety.