Follow these tips to keep your eyes healthy at the office

Does your work require you to stare at a computer screen for many hours at a time? If so, eyestrain may become a serious problem. A current story by the everon small-business blog says that workers plugged into their computers can face a host of problems, from watery eyes to headaches, increased sensitivity to light and difficulty focusing. The good news? Avoiding eyestrain is actually quite easy, even if you need to stare at the computer screen for eight hours. The everon blog provided some simple methods for reducing the negative effects of eyestrain.

The Secret

Workers hoping to steer clear of the problems of eye strain should adhere to the 20/20/20 rule. This rule states that employees should every 20 minutes take a 20-second break. And during this quick break, they need to focus their eyes on an object that stands at least 20 feet away. This forces your eyes to focus on something besides a computer screen. It also provides them with a brief workout. The story on everon also suggests that employees can every 20 minutes spend 20 seconds or more walking 20 feet or more, something that will also give a boost to their mental and physical well-being.

Reminders

But how do you remember to take these breaks? Fortuitously, everon lists several apps that can help. For instance, there’s Workrave, which sends a message on your screen when it’s time to take your micro-break. Workrave also suggests specific exercises which will help keep your eyes healthy. If you don’t enjoy this app, you can also try EyeLeo, where an animated leopard guides you through short exercises for your eyes. EyeLeo will blank out your computer screen when it’s time to have a break.

Coffee Break

There’s also the Coffee Break app, though it’s limited to Apple. This app will steadily darken your screen as a reminder that your break is on its way. When the break arrives, your screen will be totally dark, and it’s time for you to step away from the computer. Of course, not even Coffee Break can force you to give your eyes a rest. That’s up to you. Here’s hoping you don’t skip those necessary eye breaks.