In today’s highly digital world, it’s almost impossible to do any work without having to look at a screen. Most workers spend an average of 6.5 hours a day sitting in front of a computer, which can take a toll on not only their backs, necks, and legs, but also on their eyes. This is why companies should do their part to encourage and enforce practices to maintain eye health and overall well-being (while we’re at it) for their employees.
Create informative corporate reminders
Your HR and medical team can get creative by providing infographics or weekly newsletters that not only cover eye health practices but also maintain overall health. Topics can cover:
- Fruits and vegetables that promote eye health
- The importance of a good night’s sleep
- Wellness events
- Easy desk exercises
- Meditation and breathing exercises
- And many more!
Additionally, you can also consider partnering with optical shops that can offer special discounts or promotions for your employees in exchange for promoting or referring their shop to your employees.
Include regular eye exams and visits to an ophthalmologist in employees’ medical plans
When it comes to seeking medical help, one of the barriers for some individuals is cost. Since most of an employee’s screen time is related to office work, it’s only fair to include regular eye screenings in your corporate healthcare plan. Aside from that, those employees who will need specialists or additional medical procedures should also be covered. This is to ensure that employees are in their best shape to perform their daily and office tasks well. It can mean fewer sick days due to eye strain, headaches, etc.
Instill easy eye health practices
To prevent eye fatigue, it’s essential to provide regular reminders for employees to take much-needed screen breaks. For example, every 20 or 30 minutes, an employee should stop looking at their computer screen and look at something 20 feet away. Install anti-glare screens on computers when necessary to avoid the extra strain on employees’ eyes. Some may think that taking regular breaks from the screen may disrupt productivity, and installing anti-glare screens may seem like an unnecessary expense. But in the long run, these short breaks and the additional cost of anti-glare screens can actually save you and your employees from future operational and literal headaches.
Aside from these examples, there are other simple adjustments that employees can make to create less stress on their eyes. Encourage them to adjust their computer’s display settings. The screen’s brightness should be neither too bright nor too dim. It should be just enough to match the brightness of the environment or the surroundings. Adjusting the text size and color can help avoid squinting and bad posture when trying to get closer to the screen. Even if employees have 20/20 vision, they can still wear blue light glasses that can filter out some of the blue light coming from the screen that can cause eye discomfort.
Encourage employees to turn coffee and lunch breaks into screen breaks as well
Aside from providing an opportunity to interact and brainstorm with colleagues away from the screen, encouraging screen-less coffee or lunch breaks can help your employees feel well rested and ready to take on the work once they get back to their desk. Because workers have been sitting at their desks for hours, these breaks provide a window for employees to take a walk to get their food or to do some stretching for their legs, hands, back, and neck.
Serve food that help maintain good eye health
If you have an in-office cafeteria, make sure to have food options that include foods that promote good eye health. There are a lot of foods that contain vitamins and minerals that can help with eye health and are easy to incorporate in everyday dishes.
- Sweet potatoes
- Bell peppers
- Leafy green vegetables
- Almonds, sunflower seeds, and other nuts
- Oranges and other citrus fruits
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
If you don’t have an in-office cafeteria, you can equip your employees with more information about foods that promote eye health in your office newsletters or announcements. This way, they can incorporate these ingredients into their packed lunches or consider ordering eye-healthy food when they eat out. You can also make sure that food options like these are available during any company events.
It’s important that employers implement guidelines that take care of their employees’ well-being. Doing so is essential both from a social responsibility and a business standpoint. Employees spend a majority of their 24 hours at work during the week, sometimes even during weekends, and a lot of what they do at work can affect their health long after they’ve moved to other work arrangements or retired.