Leadership

The Overlooked Connection Between Eye Health and Work-Life Balance

Eye Health and Work-Life Balance

In this digital age, it’s easy to overlook the importance of caring for your eye health.

After all, most of our daily activities, including work, involve factors that may affect our eye health — from the sun’s UV rays to our glaring digital screens.

However, a report on workers’ eye health found that over 13 million people live with vision impairment linked to their work.

Additionally, an estimated 3.5 million eye injuries occur in the workplace annually, amounting to 1% of all non-fatal occupational injuries.

When discussing work-life balance, we usually list aspects of our general physical health, such as eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly to avoid being sedentary.

However, overlooking your eye health can impact your work and career more than you think.

Workers with vision impairment are 30% less likely to be employed compared to those without, and even beyond work, vision problems can make your daily routine uncomfortable, challenging, or even painful.

Below, we’ll explore the importance of eye health in your work-life balance, the impact of digital work on eye health, and how it all ties into your work and productivity.

The impact of digital devices on eye health

As mentioned above, whether you work at an in-person office or from the comforts of your home, you are most likely spending much time in front of a screen.

Over the past years, researchers have noted increased cases of digital eye strain due to overexposure to digital screens and their blue light.

To prevent eye strain and fatigue during and after long working hours, it can help to invest in a pair of blue light glasses to shield your eyes from blue- and blue-violet light.

This helps enhance vision and reduce distracting reflections and glare.

Most blue light filtering lenses are also scratch-resistant, making them easy to clean and handle for everyday use.

Of course, other ways exist to help mitigate the consequences of overexposure to digital screens.

Beyond blue light glasses, people can also invest in OLED monitors that emit lower levels and amounts of blue light.

Newer OLED panels also reflect less light from surroundings, making them more comfortable and easier to use for extended periods, helping prevent eye strain and sleep issues.

Eye health and productivity

Aside from causing discomfort, difficulties, and possible pain, eye health problems can impact productivity.

An Ophthalmology study exploring the association between work productivity and severity of dry eye disease highlights how a higher Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) is associated with greater absenteeism, presenteeism, and activity impairment.

Researchers found that work and activity impairment was greater by as much as 4.3% and 4.8%, respectively, depending on the OSDI score.

Additionally, worse corneal staining — associated with digital eye strain and dry eyes — was associated with higher overall work impairment and activity level.

This is understandable, as the most common symptoms of digital eye strain include dry, itching, burning, or watery eyes; blurry or double vision; and headaches or migraines.

As such, a lack of eye health care can significantly impact your ability to work efficiently and for longer periods.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article gives you a better understanding of the connection between your eye health and work-life balance.

Ultimately, regardless of your nature of work, eye care and protection — whether blue light glasses or OLED paneled monitors can help to prevent disturbances and vision problems.

Aside from taking additional measures to protect your eyes during and at work, it’s also important to unwind after work and build healthy habits for an after-work routine.

Spending some time to meditate, practice deep breathing, or take a walk outside can help you relax after long working hours while giving your eyes some much-needed break from your digital screens.

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Over To You

What are you doing to care for your eye health?

Let us know in the comments section on social @netwerkmovement.  

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About Lily Powell

Lily Powell is a freelance writer and editor. She spends most of her time at her desk with research and writing on the latest business news and career trends. During her free time, Lily enjoys getting exercise outdoors with her Tosa Inu, Champ.

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