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Digital devices have become an integral part of the modern workplace. For employees, computer and phone usage creates an environment that can affect their vision health, resulting in Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. As an employer, you can take steps to create a vision-friendly workplace.
What Is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer Vision Syndrome refers to a number of eye health symptoms linked to high levels of exposure to screens.
Symptoms can result from infrequent blinking, exposure to blue light, or loss of flexibility caused by focusing on a nearby object for long periods of time. The most common symptoms include:
Red or watery eyes
Researchers also believe that blue light can disrupt sleep cycles and damage retinal cells, increasing the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
With the average American spending close to seven hours a day in front of screens, everyone is at risk for CVS, but office and remote workers are particularly vulnerable since digital devices are an integral part of the typical workday, and many continue using screens outside of work hours.
Understanding and Addressing CVS
Employers can take a few steps to promote vision health at work and prevent CVS:
Ergonomic sitting. Investing in ergonomic office chairs and positioning computer monitors at eye level can reduce eye strain. Ideally, employees should sit with their computer monitor 20 to 40″ away from their eyes.
LED lighting. Flicker-free LED lighting is gentler on the eyes. White lights with a color temperature that falls somewhere between 4,000 and 4,500K are best.
Natural light. Natural light can boost mood and reduce eye strain, but employees should sit parallel to windows to reduce direct exposure. Window treatments should also protect employees from glare when the sun is low.
Eye breaks. Remind employees to follow the 20-20-20 rule and take frequent breaks from screens. Organizing a training event to teach everyone eye yoga exercises can also be beneficial.
Screen time. Explore strategies for limiting screen time at work and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Eye health. Undiagnosed vision problems can worsen CVS. Educate employees about the importance of eye health and explore options for making regular check-ups accessible.
The Employer’s Role in Vision Health
You can foster vision health in the workplace by offering a vision plan that makes eye exams more accessible to everyone.
Facilitating access to eye exams will make employees more proactive about eye health, and an optometrist can develop a personalized plan to address or prevent CVS. A vision plan also helps with the early detection of vision issues and ensures employees have access to eyeglasses or contacts if needed.
Offering a vision plan is a benefit that creates value for everyone in your organization, and it will directly support employee well-being and productivity.
Making Vision Health Accessible to Everyone
Computer Vision Syndrome is a prevalent issue in the modern workplace. As an employer, you can create a vision-friendly environment by focusing on ergonomic office design and adjusting lighting, but you should also make vision health more accessible by updating your benefits package.
As a provider of prepaid vision plans with negotiated savings, VCD of Oklahoma can help you update your benefits package with flexible products that meet the unique needs of your employees while making vision health accessible. Learn more about our prepaid vision plans!