Over half of employees think workplace screens are damaging their eyes

Over half of employees blame failing eyesight on workplace screensOne of the potential hazards of the incursion of digital devices into our lives is the fact that the average person’s screen time has increased since a generation ago, when watching too much TV was said to be bad for our eyes. However, workers still blame their working environment and the rather anachronistic tool, the VDU for any resultant eye troubles. According to new research more than half of UK employees say their current working environment has had a negative impact on their eye health. In Westfield Health’s recent survey of 7,000 UK workers, conducted just ahead of this week’s National Eye Health Week, fifty three per cent of respondents say their current working environment has affected their eye health, or their vision has got worse as a result of work. Headaches, blurred vision, eye strain and dry eyes are just some of the eye related problems employees associate with their jobs.

The research found 82 per cent use a VDU (visual display unit) as part of their job but 14 per cent of them have not had their eyes tested in the last two years.

The survey also revealed that seven per cent of people had taken time off work because of an eye-related accident or illness, such as conjunctivitis, burst blood vessels, cataracts, and headaches and migraines due to eye strain.

David Cartwright, chair of National Eye Health Week, said: “Prolonged screen use can put enormous strain on our eyes and trigger episodes of visual stress.

“Following the 20-20-20 rule – looking away from your screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, and focusing on objects 20 feet away – can really help combat the effects of screen fatigue and prevent your eyes feeling sore, itchy and tired.”

Nearly a third of respondents (32%) were not aware of the statutory Health & Safety requirements covered under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992.