Head of WorkSpace IQ
It’s no secret that these days most of us stare at computer screens for longer than we ever have before and often, more than we might like.
Sight is one of the most precious of the senses and becoming blind is something that’s identified as one of our greatest fears.
As we increasingly use our eyes for longer and more intense periods, what can you do on a personal level when it comes to minimising the toll on your vision caused by the blue light from computer screens and other devices themselves?
Most of us are familiar with the effects of UV light and how to manage them, with sunglasses, hats etc., but what about the effects of blue-violet light?
What’s the problem with blue light?
While blue violet light comes principally from the sun, it also comes from artificial light sources such as LEDs and the computer screens, tablets and smart phones that most of us use at work (and generally at home) every day.
Digital eye strain can be increased by blue light’s effect on contrast. This blue light penetrates into the eye and can suppress the natural release of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps regulate our sleep, and which is why, if you want a decent night’s sleep, it is recommended that you stop using these devices at least an hour before bedtime.
How to reduce potential hazards from blue light
- Look away from your screen regularly during the day to give your eyes a break, preferably focussing long distance, then back to the screen, then long distance several times.
- Get outside for a walk at lunch time to give your eyes a complete screen break. Seeing light through a glass window doesn’t count!
- Download an app such as f.lux, which changes the lighting on your screen to reduce the blue light effect if you are working in the evening on your digital device.
- Reduce the time you spend working (or playing! on your screen late at night.
- Get a blue tinting on your prescription glasses. This can also be put on non prescription glasses if you wish.
It’s not all doom and gloom!
Interestingly, exposure to blue light can increase your alertness, attentiveness and even your mood. You only have to think about how you feel when you step out of your office into a lovely sunny day, for that lunchtime walk.
Overall though, lighting has a much bigger impact on your health than you might realise, so take note of how you use it, in the place you spend most of your waking time – your workplace.