The wave of digital transformation across industries has placed increasing demands on the information technology (IT) industry, urging its professionals to stay on top of their skills and competencies. As discussed in a previous post, one of the critical areas in the IT profession is self-management, which involves being organized, responsible, independent, and open to learning. But beyond regulating one’s thoughts and emotions in workplace scenarios, this skill also entails managing one’s health and well-being to maintain productivity and job satisfaction. One health aspect particularly crucial among IT professionals is eye care, as they spend long hours in front of digital screens and thus risk damaging their eyesight. Fortunately, the following tips can be integrated into your lifestyle to promote eye health and overall wellness.
Follow the 20-20-20 rule
Once you’re in front of the computer, it’s easy to get carried away and work without breaks, whether you’re implementing security measures, troubleshooting new software, or providing technical support. However, digital screens expose your eyes to blue light, which may increase alertness but also pose the risk of eye strain and retinal damage. Thus, health experts remind computer users to follow the 20-20-20 rule, which instructs you to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away. Whether it’s the view outside the window or a painting on the wall, doing this relaxes your eye muscles and refreshes your mind. You’re likely to maximize a productive and high-performance work day when your eyes are fully rested.
Schedule regular eye exams
Similar to how regular medical checkups help with disease prevention through early screening and detection, routine eye examinations are crucial to eye care and employee well-being. Even if your eyesight is 20/20 and you don’t have a history of eye conditions, schedule an eye test every one or two years to ensure optimal vision and overall eye health and address any potential issues like eye strain or refractive errors early on. Fortunately, technology has made it easier to find a nearby optical office and book your appointment online to avoid long waiting times. Eyewear retailer OPSM accepts vision insurance and health funds, so check if eye care costs are partially or fully covered under your employer’s insurance policy.
Wear computer glasses
Another preventive measure to consider is wearing computer glasses, which have magnification power that makes it easier to see objects about the same distance between the wearer and the computer screen. This mechanism helps reduce instances of squinting, fatigue, and eye strain. Some computer glasses even have lenses that filter blue light, which can damage the retina and also strain the eyes through prolonged exposure. While computer glasses can be costly, the investment is worthwhile when you consider their long-term benefits for computer-based IT work.
Invest in ergonomics
Whether they work from home or in the office, IT professionals must also pay attention to ergonomics, as their distance from the computer screen can make a huge difference in their eye health. Aside from sitting 20-28 inches away from the screen per AOA’s recommendations, they can also opt for computer monitors like the Dell UltraSharp displays, which come with an “Eye Comfort” certification to enhance eye protection and alleviate visual fatigue. Experts also recommend getting an ergonomic chair and desk to maintain proper posture and keep the computer within the natural sight line. Eye health is a crucial aspect of IT professionals’ self-management of health and well-being. The more you care for your eyes, the more likely it is to be productive and truly thrive in the industry.