The average UK adult spends 9.5 hours a day looking at a screen, whether that’s at a desktop computer at work, or flicking onto Facebook during TV adverts.
Our time spent on handheld devices alone meanwhile, has increased by nearly 400% in usage time over the four years, or 90% year on year, and our eyes certainly don’t thank us for it.
In fact, they can start to feel the strain even after just two hours in front of the screen – not hard when many of us rely on our computers to do our job, and rely on our smartphones for almost everything else.
There are plenty of websites, ironically, which advocate logging off and tuning out for the sake of our sanity, but with eye strain and computer vision syndrome causing headaches and blurred vision, excessive screen-time is clearly a body-wide issue.
Here are some tips to give your eyes a break when averting your gaze from the glare is not an option.
It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to blink when you’re deeply focused. Blinking stops our eyes from becoming dried and irritated. If you often forget, it might be worth getting some eye drops, so you can at least relieve tired eyes if you’ve been staring too hard and too long at the screen.
A slightly too bright a screen or small text is only going to exacerbate the issue, but both these problems can be easily remedied with settings on a modern computer or device.
Have a stretch
Just like your legs stiffen up after a long car journey, so your eyes do when you spend too much time looking at your screen. After 20 minutes of looking at a screen, try looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, to allow the muscles in your eyes to stretch. That was, you won’t get the same lapse in adjustment when you do finally tear yourself away from the screen and back into the real world.