How to Use the 20-20-20 Rule to Promote Eye Health *and* Workplace Productivity

Photo: Stocksy/Jojo Jovanovic
Take a second to think about how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Probably more than you care to share, right? Well unfortunately, that screen time is affecting both your health and your workplace productivity.

“The average American spends almost half a day staring at a screen. Between working days increasingly spent at a computer to evenings spent browsing on smartphones or watching TV, we expose our eyes to much more screen time than in the past," said ophthalmologist Nirupa Cuttler, MD. "The consistent exposure to the blue light and glare emitted by these screens has an impact on our eyes."

"The average American spends almost half a day staring at a screen. We expose our eyes to much more harmful blue light and glare than in the past." —Nirupa Cuttler, ophthalmologist

According to a release from the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), women are nearly twice as sensitive as men to chronic dry eye, a symptom of digital eye strain, which can lead to fatigue, headaches, and blurry vision. Women are also reportedly more susceptible to debilitating eye issues like inflammation and vision impairment. In fact, because of vision issues alone, 45 percent of workers are taking three or more breaks during the day, the Society of Human Resource Management reported.

Prioritizing your eye health may help you reach your #bosslady goals (and preserve the health of your peepers as you age). Because if you're taking multiple breaks throughout the day just to relieve your aching eyes, how do you expect to get through your to-do list?

The AAO suggests some steps to ensure your eyes stay happy. Try sitting 25 inches—or an arm's length—away from your computer screen, take consistent breaks using the 20-20-20 rule (look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes), and make sure your screen isn't brighter than the light in the room. Also, if you wear contacts, occasionally swap them out for glasses (extra points for blue-light blocking specs) to give your eyes a break.

You can also stay efficient by making your eye-health breaks pull double duty by giving these hacks for de-stressing at your desk a whirl.

Here are five simple ways to keep your eyes healthy. Also, if you want to protect your eyes through your diet, this leafy green is a great pick.

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