If you’re working from home in lockdown, your day may go a bit like this: wake up, go through your usual morning routine, and then log onto work. From there, you have 4-5 hours of mostly uninterrupted screen time. At lunchtime, maybe you scroll through Instagram while eating. Fast-forward to hometime (sigh, not really hometime) and perhaps you settle down to your favourite TV show or film. That’s a lot of screen time and it can affect your eyesight.
Whether you’re currently WFH or not, lockdown has meant that we’re looking at multiple screens for much longer periods of time. From laptops and mobiles to television screens and tablets, Ofcom research shows that UK adults in lockdown spend 40% of their waking day watching TV and online video services. This is without taking into account people working from home, which makes it worse.
It comes as no surprise then that the increase in screen time has had negative effects on our eyesight. According to Optometry Today, 50% of students and 42% of working adults who have been using screens more during lockdown believe their eyesight has been affected.
To help you reduce the impact of increased screen time in lockdown, we’ve put together the following guide. It’s important that you follow these steps – not only will your eyesight improve but your general wellbeing will benefit too. Take a look!
another day of staring at the big screen while scrolling through my little screen so as to reward myself for staring at the medium screen all week
— Delia Cai (@delia_cai) November 22, 2020
Lockdown screen time and your eyesight
Before we get into the tips section, we’re going to revisit the above Optometry Today research so you have all the facts. The research was done in the form of an online poll conducted by YouGov and on behalf of sight loss research experts Fight For Sight (be sure to check them out).
Here are the most revealing takeaways:
- More than one in three (38%) of people in the UK believe that increased screen time in recent months has made their eyes worse.
- 49% of respondents’ screen time has increased since the pandemic began.
- 50% of students and 42% of working adults who have been using screens more during lockdown believe their eyesight has been affected.
- 39% report having difficulty reading as a result, 23% are experiencing headaches or migraines, and 17% believe they have poorer night vision.
With the following tips, you can protect your eyesight in lockdown and remedy any potential troubles you might experience from heightened screen time.
Use technology to your advantage
It’s important that you take care of your eyesight when working from home, and you can do so by adjusting the settings on your devices or downloading certain brightness to your desktop computer (apps like f.lux, for example). On an iPhone, simply toggle ‘night shift’ on your brightness settings and your phone will reduce its blue light levels the closer to bedtime you get. There are lots of more apps that do the same thing for both iPhone users and Android users.
Take care of your diet
Eating well in lockdown is really important, and while many of us succumb to comfort food in difficult times, there are plenty of benefits to be had from a healthy diet. Foods rich in Omega 3 will help lubricate your eyes and combat the dry, itchy sensation that comes from too much screen time. We recommend you take in plenty of fish, nuts and seeds.
There are plenty of ways improving your lifestyle will improve your eyesight – read our article on the subject to find out more.
Take control of your lighting situation
Many of us have had to adjust their current WFH environment to help productivity, and how much light you have is important in this regard. Think about how much sunlight you’re getting. Too much sunlight will obscure your screen and you’ll be working doubly hard to see (the trouble here is that you probably won’t even notice that your vision is working harder until the migraine lands). However, not enough sunlight and your body will be stripped of vitamin D.
Angle your computer screen so that your vision isn’t in any obscured – your eyes will thank you by the end of each working week!
Don’t use any blue light-emitting devices before bed
As we explain in our article on blue light, it’s not that it is directly damaging to our eyesight per se. Instead, it interrupts our circadian rhythms which then harms the quality of our sleep. If you’re particularly difficult to deal with after getting less than your eight hours, you’ll know how disastrous this can be!
For the hour before you go to sleep, introduce a blanket ban on all blue light emitting devices (even with night mode settings). This is the new modern cornerstone of sleep hygiene and it’s an excellent rule to keep. It may help curb online shopping, too!
Get out for a walk when you can
Never before has a daily walk been so instrumental to both mental and physical health! We’re all going for our walks in lockdown, and it can be especially good for your eyesight if you’re working from home. A walk on your lunch break will break up the eight hours of prolonged screen time, giving your eyes much-needed respite.
As you’ll have heard a thousand times before since lockdown began, it’ll do you a world of good.
me going on a stupid little daily walk just to feel something pic.twitter.com/Yi6VVHVVB6
— ruby 🐊 (@roobeekeane) January 8, 2021
Invest in a pair of blue light lenses
As we explain in our guide ‘The science behind blue light lenses’, there are numerous technologies available that will safeguard your vision against the deleterious effects of blue light rays. With blue light lenses, you can expect the following benefits:
- Eye discomfort and eye strain will be reduced
- Your sleep quality will improve
- Vision clarity will improve
- Your eyes and eyesight will age better
There are numerous more benefits too, so be sure to read the above guide.
Each pair of Arlo Wolf lenses can be customised with additional blue light lenses, and you can find more information about our Digital Media Lenses over on our glasses lenses page.
What else the Arlo Wolf team can do for you
There is so much more that we can do. Have you heard about our Try Before You Buy glasses service, for example? From our eyewear for women and eyewear for men ranges, you can choose four frames that you’d like to try on at home (free of charge).Once you have chosen, simply order online and upload an image of your prescription. Then, we’ll send them straight back out to you! Easy.
In the meantime, use all the extra time you have in lockdown to peruse our blog section. It’s regularly updated and contains some of the following resources: