Discover how to prevent eye strain when working at your desk

How to Prevent Eye Strain: 10 Tips for Eye Health at Your Desk


In a world ruled by screens, spending hours glued to your desk can seriously harm your eyes. With all the scrolling, clicking, and swiping through endless emails, web pages, and social media feeds, it's high time we start giving our eyes some much-needed TLC. Whether you're working hard or caught in a digital whirlwind, follow these 10 tips to prevent eye strain while at your desk!

1. Ensure Proper Lighting

Working with natural light can help prevent eye strain
Working with natural light can help prevent eye strain.

Good lighting is essential to keeping your eyes happy and healthy. Steer clear of glaringly bright or dimly lit spaces — both can seriously strain your eyes. According to the Mayo Clinic, the biggest eye-strain offenders are light sources positioned right above or behind you, like fluorescent lights or sunlight. Switch off some, or all of those, overhead lights for some instant relief.


If you've got a desk lamp, make sure it's lighting up your workspace evenly, without causing glare on your screen, which can negatively impact your vision. And avoid placing your monitor front of a window or white wall — it's a recipe for eye strain.

Need more reasons to let the light in? Research from Cornell University's Department of Design and Environmental Analysis found that folks exposed to natural light in the office reported an 84% drop in eye strain, headaches, and blurry vision.

2. Adjust Screen Settings

Adjust the brightness, contrast, and font size of your screen to find that sweet spot — no squinting required. Bright screens in dark rooms or dim screens in bright environments can also cause unnecessary strain. Finally, consider using the "night mode" feature available on many devices, which reduces blue light exposure during evening hours.

What Are the Symptoms of Eye Strain?


· Sore or tired eyes

· Dry eyes

· Difficulty focusing

· Watery eyes

· Increased sensitivity to light

· Burning or itching

· Headaches


Source: Stanford Health Care

3. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Following the 20-20-20 rule can help prevent computer vision syndrome.
Following the 20-20-20 rule can help prevent computer vision syndrome

Another tip to prevent eye fatigue is to adhere to the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus your gaze on an object at least 20 feet away. It's like a mini vacay for your eyes, helping to ease those tired muscles.


You can also try an exercise called eye-rolling, which stretches and strengthens the eye muscles and can prevent Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With the eye-rolling exercise, you rotate your eyes in a circular motion, first clockwise and then counterclockwise. While it's a simple move, it works wonders for stretching and strengthening those eye muscles. 

4. Optimize Workspace Ergonomics

An ergonomic desk setup
An ergonomic desk setup. Source: American Optometric Association

Here’s the scoop on screen placement to take care of your eye health: keep your monitor about an arm's length away from your eyes, with the top of the screen either at eye level or just a smidge below. It's all about finding that sweet spot to keep your neck and shoulders chill.


Next, let's talk comfort. Make sure you adjust the height and angle of your chair and desk to maintain a comfortable posture and reduce neck and shoulder strain. We highly recommend you consider using an ergonomic office chair and keyboard to minimize physical discomfort during long hours spent at your workstation.

Our AION chair is meticulously crafted for optimal ergonomics
Our AION chair is meticulously crafted for optimal ergonomics

5. Blink Regularly

When immersed in screen time for prolonged periods, it's common for your blinking frequency to decrease, leading to dry and irritated eyes. It might feel awkward at first, but make a deliberate effort to blink regularly to maintain proper moisture and lubrication. If persistent dryness occurs, consider using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops.

6. Take Frequent Breaks

Taking breaks from your screen can alleviate eye strain.
Taking breaks can alleviate eye strain

Integrating brief breaks into your work routine is essential for providing relief to your eyes. Utilize these intervals to stand up, stretch your legs, hydrate with a refreshing drink of water, or engage in activities that don't involve screen exposure. By taking regular breaks, you not only alleviate eye strain but also boost productivity and concentration.

7. Use Blue Light Glasses

Warby Parker blue light glasses
Blue light glasses can reduce eye discomfort. Source: Warby Parker

You might want to give blue light glasses a try. They are specifically designed to filter out or minimize the blue light emitted from screens — think computers, smartphones, and tablets. Blue light gets a bad rap for causing eye strain and fatigue, especially after long stints in front of screens.


Here's how these glasses work: they block or soak up a chunk of that blue light, easing the strain on your eyes. Rocking blue light glasses could mean less eye discomfort, reduced dryness, and even better sleep quality, especially if you're scrolling through screens right before hitting the hay. Many people swear by them!

8. Adjust Screen Distance and Angle

Position your screen at a comfortable distance (approximately an arm's length away) and adjust the angle to minimize glare and reflections. Tilting your screen slightly downward can also help reduce strain on your neck and eyes.

9. Stay Hydrated

Stay hydrated. Your eyes will thank you!
Stay hydrated. Your eyes will thank you!

Water for eye health? Yes! Getting enough water throughout the day is also crucial for keeping your eyes in top shape. Here's the deal: dehydration can make dry eye symptoms worse. So, make it a habit to sip on water regularly, especially when you're locked in front of the screen for hours on end. Your eyes will thank you for the hydration boost!

10. Get Regular Eye Exams

Don't forget to pencil in those regular eye exams with your optometrist. They're not just a formality — they're crucial for keeping tabs on your eye health and catching any vision issues early on.


During these exams, your optometrist can also assess if you need prescription glasses or if your current prescription needs tweaking. It's all about staying ahead of the game as it pertains to your eye health. So, mark those dates on your calendar and keep those peepers in check!

The Takeaway

If you weave these straightforward yet impactful tactics into your daily grind, you can dial down the eye strain and discomfort when you're glued to your desk. Putting your eye health first is crucial for your long-term well-being and your productivity. So, don't sleep on it — take proactive measures to safeguard those precious peepers. 


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