Keep an eye out for screen fatigue

As research reveals that Britons spend an amazing 128,780 hours (an aggregate of almost 15 years) in a working lifetime staring at computer or television screens, small business owners should be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to looking after their employees' eyesight.

A poll of 2,750 workers conducted by The Eyecare Trust reveals that despite blinding headaches, eyestrain, problems with close-up and long-distance vision, one in ten say they have never visited an optician. Meanwhile, 40 per cent are unaware that they can claim a free eye examination from their employer if they regularly use a computer monitor at work.

Nearly two-thirds admit to regularly leaving work with a terrible headache, while over half frequently have tired or strained eyes. A third of those polled say they regularly put up with dry, irritated and watery eyes – and one in five people admit to imperfections with their eyesight.

‘As computer use in the workplace and the home continues to rise so do the number of people complaining of eyestrain,’ says Iain Anderson, Chairman of the Eyecare Trust. ‘It’s vital that computer users visit their optometrist for regular eye examinations and follow a healthy eyecare regime.’

The Eyecare Trust’s suggests employees are made aware of the following tips to avoid screen fatigue:

  • Take frequent breaks: give your eyes a rest every 20 minutes or so
  • Customise your screen settings – ensure your monitor is 33cm – 59cm from your eyes and that the centre of your screen is 10cm – 15cm below your natural eye level
  • Select a font size of 12pts or above
  • Make sure you have a clean screen
  • Create an eye-friendly environment – position documents at roughly the same distance from your eyes as the screen to avoid having to re-focusing
  • Dim the lights (the ratio of ambient light to monitor light should be three to one) and minimise any glare or reflections
  • And finally, keep blinking – when you concentrate on the screen for long periods your blink rate slows

For more information on eyecare visit

Related Topics

Employee health