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Is screen time a pain in the neck?

In 2020, average UK screen time doubled to 13+ hrs every day. This surge in screen use has led to a higher risk of tired eyes, dry eyes, problems with glare, blurry vision, headaches and neck ache. Digital Eye Strain is now the most common repetitive strain injury reported by screen workers, outstripping carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis. Whilst mild symptoms settle when screen work ceases, the chronic impact of poor neck posture and dry eyes can be permanent and affect quality of life.

Recent studies show that up to 90% of screen users suffer digital eye strain and with the new flex/hybrid working culture upon us, this is likely to increase.

Eyes for Work:

Eyes for Work Ltd was founded by Debbie Young and Sarah Arnold, (two award-winning optometrists with more than 65 years of combined experience), dedicated to improving the eye health and wellbeing of those who work at a screen. Home working was already integral to working cultures, however, the pandemic has catalysed an unprecedented rise.

Clinically, both Debbie and Sarah witnessed a significant increase in the number of patients reporting eyestrain issues associated with poor working practices and longer screen hours. Sarah says, ‘For most people, it isn’t a case of needing new spectacles; education on the management of screen habits, work environment and lifestyle for optimal eye health is needed and is the obvious solution. This isn’t something that most optometrists have the time to discuss in a routine eye test; therefore, a new approach was needed’.

Between them, Debbie and Sarah have designed a simple and effective online assessment tool for screen workers; providing tailored management strategies to reduce screen fatigue and transform productivity. Eyes for Work is now fast becoming a recognised name with HR directors and employees alike.

Tackle Eye Strain holistically:

Eyes for Work provides a licensed, affordable, scalable solution for all employees wherever they work. Their online assessment is quick and easy; delivering tailored strategies to each user in a personalised digital vision report. This acts as a triage process too – not everyone will need to visit the optician! Educating employees to make small changes in working habits, implement good wellbeing practices for healthy eyes and optimise workstation set-ups is the first step. For those who are recommended a clinical check-up, a printable summary letter is provided to take to the opticians. This ensures that the next eye test can be truly targeted to the problems being experienced. 

An Eyes for Work Assessment is a ‘must-have’ tool for every employer. It supports compliance with duty of care, boosts productivity and mitigates digital eye strain /related neck issues.

Employers also have an overview of aggregated statistical data to monitor the digital eye health of their workforce.

Visit  www.eyesforwork.co.uk to find out how transformative Eyes for Work could be for the workforce, wherever they are working.

By Sarah Arnold BSc (Hons) MCOptom and Deborah Young BSc (Hons) MSc MCOptom DCLP Dip TP (IP)

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Categories: Choices for WellbeingHealth WiseOccupational Health

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