Telework and visual health: 5 keys to keep in mind

The quarantine imposed by the coronavirus pandemic led companies to readjust their ways of working. The home office was and, consequently, doubts arose about the relationship between telework and visual health. How does the sight of being in front of a screen so long affect us?

Although it is true that remote work has great advantages, we cannot forget that involves an intensive use of electronic devices , and there are some health drawbacks in this. The eyes may be the most affected by long exposure to screens.

In addition to adults, in whom telework is linked to visual health, for children without school attendance there is over-exposure due to the curricular content that is sent online. Many countries implemented distance education through digital platforms.

To telework and visual health we must add this second contact that involves many parents. After completing their homework, they may need to continue to be exposed to screens to help their children with homework.

As it is impossible to think about everyday life without screens in this context, we tell you 5 keys about care in telework and visual health.

1. Blink

In front of the screens, our eyes tend to blink less.It is calculated that, under normal conditions, a person blinks 25 times per minute. However, exposure to screens reduces that number considerably.

The less blink, the less the lubrication of the eyeball, and there is a risk of progressing towards dry eye syndrome . This is a pathology classified by ophthalmologists as such.

To avoid this degradation of the tear, it is necessary to prevail the blinking. A key to this time of teleworking and visual health is obligatorily stimulating our eyes to move the eyelid.

2. Achieve the correct posture

Telework affects visual health, but also postural , and it turns out that both are related. The position of the computer, the tablet or the mobile itself affects the eyeballs, and not just the spine.

A simple guide to establishing the proper posture is to achieve right angles to the involved joints . We should sit with the trunk at 90 degrees to the thighs; the thighs at 90 degrees to the knees; and the elbow with the same criteria.

Once this firm position has been achieved, the screen must be arranged so that it is at eye level. Not too high or too low, so as not to force the eyeballs into unnatural movements.

3. Follow rule 20-20-20

Ophthalmologists recommend having scheduled breaks during teleworking to care for your visual health . To do this, they developed the 20-20-20 rule, which serves as a quick memorization in these cases.

The proposal is to generate breaks at work with screens every 20 minutes, to then look outside the device for about 20 seconds at a distance of 6 meters -20 feet in the Anglo-Saxon measurement system. Hence the mnemonic with number 20.

4. Correct distance with the screens

When it comes to teleworking and visual health, the distance to the screen also counts. When we are very close to the device we are asking the eyeballs to make an extra effort. This effort happens to accommodate the image that the brain will interpret .

Accommodation can happen several times a day, and it is expected, but it is not healthy for eyesight to work in these conditions for hours .

The recommendation is that, if we telecommute with a computer, the minimum distance to the screen is around 60 centimeters . If it is a tablet or the same mobile, that distance is reduced by the conditions of mobile devices, but it should not be less than 35 centimeters.

5. Regulate reflexes

Not only does the light from the screens directly affect the blue light radiation from the devices, but the reflections are also a visual health problem. When we place our computer near a window, the angle can cause external light to reflect off the screen .

To avoid the reflection that forces the eyeballs, it is proposed that computers be perpendicular to the lights. This would be the ideal measurement. In case of not being able to materialize due to local issues, the lights will have to be dimmed – curtains if it is a window or fabrics that filter if it is artificial.

Teleworking and visual health go hand in hand

Beyond the particular conditions of the pandemic , we must understand that telework and visual health are connected and will continue to be. More and more companies opt for this modality, and the number of workers doing home office increases . Protecting the eyes, in short, is the care of one of our work tools .

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