The “experts” keep telling us that we need to minimize our screen time. But the truth is that much of the working population spends a lot of time with the computer… and Tech Consultants, in particular, have a profession that makes it pretty difficult to cut back from the screen. Truthfully, even if we could cut back on our screens – we don’t want to!
However, sitting at a screen all day can cause a lot of eye strain and even lead to Computer Vision Syndrome. If you’ve noticed eye fatigue, red eyes, twitching, dry eyes, and even headaches or neck pain, you may be experiencing this condition. Eye exercises are some of the best ways to protect your eyes and relieve them from the symptoms or permanent damage that screen time can cause. Here’s some exercises that you can start implementing right away if you’re on a screen most of your work day:
Blinking is very important because it keeps our eyes hydrated and lubricated. However, studies show that we tend to blink about one-third as often as we usually do when we’re working at a computer! To prevent dryness and irritation, take a blinking break every half hour or so to blink a minimum of 10 times.
Eye doctors call this the 20-20-20 rule, because they suggest every 20 minutes you gaze at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds, then look back at your screen for 20 seconds, and back at the object about 20 feet out. Do this a few more times. This relaxes the tight focus your eyes have had on the closer screen, and it keeps them from “locking out.”
Close your eyes and roll them around while you keep your lid closed. This helps lubricate the eyes to keep them from getting dry, while also relaxing the muscles in and around your eyes. Try also looking up and down, and right and left, while keeping your lids closed. It’s like a mini-massage for your eyes.
Just like it sounds, move your eyes from left around to the right, swooping them in the shape of a figure 8 with your nose as the middle crossing point. After 10 rotations, reverse direction of the figure 8. This will increase the flexibility of your eye muscles and exercise your peripheral vision, which we rarely do while focused on a computer screen.
Magic Hot Dog
Extend your arms out in front of your face and point your two index fingers towards each other with a small gap in between. Now focus on another part of the room. You’ll see the illusion of part your finger, or “hot dog” in the space between the two. Then, move your focus back to your fingers and the hot dog will magically disappear. Do this again 9 more times!
This exercise is especially helpful when you are feeling extra strain or even headache from your screen time. Rub your hands together until you feel some heat forming. Then, put one palm on top of the other, and bring your hands up to your closed eyes. Let the warm energy radiate from your palms to soothe your tired eyes.
Don’t forget about your entire body, because you’re sitting still most of the day! When you get up and quickly stretch, you’ll re-energize stiff muscles and your eyes will naturally get exercised by looking around at objects that are at differing distances. So take frequent breaks to stand up, do some squats, touch your toes, or roll your head in a circle. Studies show you’ll work more efficiently if you do this too.
We know technology professionals love screen time both on and off the job, so make sure to protect your eyes with these exercises so you can keep doing what you love! And if you’re looking for a new technology project to do more contract work you love, give ProFocus a call and talk with one of our Recruiters today!