Office ergonomics and Healthy Vision
If you are working in an office then you probably spend about 35-40 hours of the week staring at your computer, answering emails, having online meetings or working on other documents. How you set up your office is important since it can also set up our body posture for success, and this includes our eyes. Office job opportunities are becoming more and more synonymous, and this is why we should pay attention to office ergonomics. This is especially because we experience more computer work in the office.
What is ergonomics?
In simple terms, ergonomics is the law of work. It is the process of arranging the workplace in a way that fits with the people that work in that particular station. Office ergonomics in this case is the study of the kind of work that a person does, his or her work environment, tools used at work and if the workspace is set to fit with your needs. This is important because it helps in increasing performance and maintaining a good health.
How are office ergonomics related to vision?
The visual system is not meant to be in a near-viewing position for longer periods because this puts stress on our eyes. Decades ago, only specific people, and at times no one had access to a computer. It was normal because many people had no idea how to use a computer, and computers were scares. However, in the modern day, it is common to find everyone in a company using at least on computer at work, while also using a laptop for their personal use at home.
For instance, since the existence of the COVID-19, many people are working from home, meaning that they spend most of their time on their computer and smartphones. Focusing on this digital screen makes one to blink much less than usual, and this can cause straining of the eye, blurriness, fatigue as well as dry eyes. Furthermore, focusing on digital screen can also temporarily change your ability to see colors clearly. This term is referred to as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome.
It is natural for people to move closer to the screen and lean forward when they cannot read what is on the screen properly. However leaning forward is risky for one’s health and body posture as it causes back, neck and shoulder pains. Setting up your work station, the chair, desk and computer in a wrong way, also affects your body posture which can cause issues such as tendinitis. If you happen to be one of those people who cannot help but lean towards their desk to check your screen, then you should get your vision examined to ensure that you are not suffering from another medical condition that you are unaware of.
Furthermore, there are other factors that can contribute to eye discomfort. They include poor lighting in the workspace, dry air and screen glare. Working in a well-lit area is important to ensure that you are not straining your eyes. Both employees and the employers need to optimize their workspace since it results to increased efficiency. This is to say that if you are working in a friendly and conducive environment, with proper lighting, and you can read what you are doing well, they you are guaranteed of success. You will also be available at work full time since you are not straining in any way from your workspace.
How to set up your Workspace for your eyes
- The screen you are using should be arm’s length away. In addition to that, you should make the fonts larger so that you can easily read without straining. The top of the monitor or screen should be at or slightly below the eye level.
- Sit on a well adjustable chair, with your feet touching down and you knees bent to ninety degrees.
- Both the mouse and the keyboard should be on the same surface where you can easily reach them.
- Ensure that there is not too much glare from the screen you are using and if possible, you can add a matte filter.
- Make sure that you follow the 20/20/20 rule, which states that for every 20 minutes, stare at something that is at least 20 feet away, for about 20 seconds.
- If your work environment is dry, add artificial tears to your eyes for adequate lubrication.
- The lighting in your workspace should be brighter than that of your computer. If possible, work where there is an artificial lighting as it has reduced negative effects to the eye. Moreover, if you have to switch back and forth from the monitor to paper work, add a task lighting, such as a lamp, for your paperwork. Having another source of light for your paperwork allows your eyes to adjust well to the lighting.
- The screen you are using should be perpendicular to any windows that are around you.
One of the recent and temporary solutions to maintaining a good posture is the use of a large exercise chair or balls. A yoga ball is mostly used in this case. Since most of these exercise balls are in one size, finding the perfect fit for you might be challenging. In addition to that, it is also difficult for the body to maintain one position for longer hours as it will naturally start to slump.
Optimizing your workspace has greater benefits both to the eye and the body posture. When you are able to see clearly, you are guaranteed of achieving more. In addition to that, if you feel okay health wise, you will not have a hard time completing all your tasks. The other employees will also be motivated to push on and work extra hard for the benefit of the company since they see you at work. This is because the employees feel much safer and motivated when you are around, because they are able to come to you in case of anything or any assistance with their work. Wearing contact lenses can cause great discomfort to the eye and it causes dryness of the eye. LASIK is the best procedure to get a permanent solution to this problem.