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Everything you need to know about screen work

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Everything you need to know about screen work

In the modern workplace, employees often spend long hours in front of a monitor. This prolonged exposure to digital devices can lead to eye strain, headaches and visual discomfort. Fortunately, prescription monitor glasses offer an effective solution to improve viewing comfort and enhance performance in the workplace.

Sharper images and lower eye strain

Prescription screen glasses are specially designed to support the eyes when viewing digital screens such as computers, laptops and tablets. These glasses offer personalized correction for individual eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, giving the user optimal vision on the screen. By wearing prescription screen glasses, employees can enjoy sharper images, reduced eye strain and improved visual comfort throughout their workday.

Staring at a screen for long periods of time can lead to physical complaints ranging from RSI to eye problems known as computer eyes. In this blog, we dive into the importance of a well-appointed workplace and getting regular exercise to reduce health risks. Discover practical tips and important legal insights that will help you stay both productive and healthy in the digital world.

What is screen work?

VDU work includes tasks performed with the help of display screens, such as the work of an office worker who sits at a computer for his or her work. Screen-based devices that are not a permanent part of the workplace, such as a cell phone, are not included.

Screen work involves repetitive movements of the fingers and hands, as well as static strain on the neck, shoulders and arms. This can lead to the development of CANS (Complaints of Arm, Neck and Shoulder or RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). In addition, screen work can lead to eye and stress complaints.

Display screens are used in almost all businesses. Prolonged (more than 6 hours per day), work with a monitor can cause health complaints. Therefore, the risk of health complaints due to monitor work is present in almost all sectors. It is therefore wise not to exceed the limit of 6 hours per day to reduce the risk of these complaints. 

Also read our extensive article on ergonomic working on FrankWatching

The facts about screen work

The TNO factsheet VDU work shows that 45% of the Dutch do at least six hours of VDU work a day. Of the Corona home workers this is even 89% and most do not take regular breaks, only 36% do so. 43% of home workers have suffered from RSI/CANS complaints in the past year. These include pain in the neck, shoulders, back, arms or hands.

Preventing physical complaints and dropout also requires attention to the workplace. It must be easily adjustable and, more importantly, invite movement.

What is sufficient exercise and how do you do it?

Unfortunately, the occasional jog or visit to the gym is insufficient if you spend the rest of the day mostly sitting. Even if you are very active, you may still have a higher risk of health problems if you spend a lot of time sitting. Only daily, intense exercise can counteract the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. But since daily intense exercise is not for everyone, it can be easier: make sure you get moving several times a day.

  • Start the day with exercise. Take a short walk or do some exercises.
  • Alternate sitting work with standing work.
  • Walk during phone calls.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

What does the Occupational Health and Safety Act say about screen work?

In the Netherlands, the Working Conditions Act, better known as the Arbowet, is in force. This law imposes an obligation on employers to proactively ensure a safe and healthy working environment for employees.

If the employee is involved in screen work, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that you offer this employee an occupational health examination. The purpose of this examination is to identify the health risks in the workplace. After this examination, you can take follow-up steps to promote health and safety. This may include adapting the work environment or providing tools to help reduce symptoms.

This law places an obligation on employers to proactively provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees.

It is important to closely follow the guidelines of the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure the health and well-being of employees. Proper compliance with this law contributes not only to employee productivity and satisfaction, but also to a positive work culture.

Eye complaints caused by screen work (computer eyes)

Our life is no longer imaginable without the computer. But when we look at the screen a lot, we can suffer from eye strain. Mirrors, reflections, low contrast and blurred images make reading from a screen very strenuous for the eyes. We also tend to blink our eyes less when looking at a screen. When this causes symptoms, we call it computer eyes.

What are the symptoms of computer eyes?

  • Tired eyes
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Having difficulty focusing

The symptoms are usually temporary in nature. A few blinks can often solve the problems. But the complaints can also become structural. If a person has sore eyes, fatigue and headaches for an extended period of time, this - combined with other complaints and illnesses - can lead to failure.

Prescription screen glasses are designed to reduce these discomforts. The correct prescription glasses provide optimal eye focus for the distance to the screen, reducing strain on the eye muscles. This results in a reduction in eye strain and headaches, allowing employees to work more productively and comfortably.

Tips to prevent eye problems caused by screen work

1. Set up your workspace properly

  • Monitor: Make sure your monitor is at eye level so you can look straight ahead without bending your neck. The top of the screen should be at or just below eye level.
  • Chair: Use an ergonomic chair that supports you well. The chair should be height adjustable so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are bent at an angle of about 90 degrees.
  • Keyboard and mouse: Place your keyboard and mouse at a comfortable distance so that your elbows can rest at an angle of about 90 degrees.

2. Take regular breaks

  • Micro breaks: Take short breaks of 30 seconds to 1 minute every 20-30 minutes to stretch or walk around.
  • Move: Get up every 1-2 hours and walk around for a few minutes. This promotes blood circulation and prevents stiffness.

3. Movement and stretching

  • Neck Stretch: Slowly bend your head forward, backward, and to both sides to stretch your neck muscles.
  • Shoulder roll: Roll your shoulders forward and back a few times to relieve tension.
  • Back Stretch: Stand up and stretch your arms above your head, then bend forward and try to touch your toes.

4. Ensure good posture

  • Sit upright: Make sure you sit upright with your back against the back of the chair. Avoid leaning forward or drooping.
  • Support: If necessary, use a pillow or lumbar support to provide additional support for your lower back.

5. Use ergonomic tools

  • Document holder: Use a document holder to place documents at eye level next to your monitor.
  • Wrist rests: Consider using wrist supports for your keyboard and mouse to reduce pressure on your wrists.

6. Good lighting

  • Provide adequate lighting in your workplace to prevent eye fatigue. This also helps maintain a better working posture.

By applying these tips, you can reduce neck and shoulder pain and promote a healthier working posture. Remember, small adjustments can make a big difference to your comfort and long-term health.

Provide a good workplace

A good workplace is different for everyone, but it must be set up the right way.

These six tips will help you optimize your workstation for monitor work:‍

  1. Make sure you have a good adjustable office chair.
  2. Provide a desk that is height adjustable.
  3. The monitor should be directly in front of the user and the top of the screen at eye level.
  4. Hold the mouse close to the keyboard and operate it from your elbow/lower arm.‍‍
  5. Provide plenty of variety and relax occasionally.
  6. Provide good lighting around your workstation to reduce eye strain. Avoid direct light on your monitor and minimize reflections. If possible, use monitor glasses.

Duration of screen work

The Occupational Health and Safety Decree sets the guideline that screen work must be alternated after 2 hours. In this way, the aim is to ensure that you ire not sitting in front of your monitor all day.

To alternate every 2 hours, you can choose to:

  • Alternate with other work (i.e., no screen work)
  • alternate with a break

Apply the 20-20-2 rule (pause):

After looking close for 20 minutes, take a break to look far away for 20 seconds AND spend at least 2 hours a day outside.

Can monitor glasses help prevent symptoms?

prescription monitor glasses help improve workplace ergonomics. With the right prescription glasses, employees can see the monitor screen better without having to bend or stretch their heads too much. This promotes better posture and reduces strain on the neck and shoulders, reducing the risk of pain and discomfort.

Screen glasses with correction ensure clear vision on your computer, tablet or smartphone, regardless of your eye strength. Thanks to the specially designed lens, your eyes do not have to work as hard, reducing fatigue. Moreover, the glasses help you adopt a relaxed posture while using screens, which increases your working comfort, whether you work at home or at the office. Thus, screen glasses are an excellent choice to prevent or reduce physical discomfort.

Are there computer glasses without prescription?

There is no such thing as computer glasses without prescription. Non-powered computer glasses are blue light filter glasses.
A monitor emits light, including blue light. This light is also found in daylight and in the light from LED lamps. Blue light is not harmful, but it can make prolonged viewing of a computer screen less comfortable.
Blue light filter glasses make your eyes more restful when looking at a computer screen. The glasses feature a filter that rejects some of the blue light from a screen, providing more comfortable vision. This is especially nice if you spend several hours a day working behind a screen.

What is the Better Behind Your Screen (BAS) checklist?

Better Behind e Screens (BAS) is a checklist from TNO to help companies and employees use screens to organize their work in a healthy way. The checklist is easy to apply; most questions are yes-no questions. It is intended for employees who spend an average of more than two hours a day behind a screen. The results of the assessment indicate whether the work poses health risks and what specific recommendations and areas for improvement can lower your risk. It also provides general tips that are useful for anyone to consider.

Achieving a healthy work environment is a shared responsibility of both employer and employees.

Employers provide the framework conditions and employees make daily decisions about their work performance in the workplace, both consciously and unconsciously. These include preparing the workspace, taking breaks, using available resources and identifying bottlenecks. To make these decisions appropriately and in a "consciously healthy" manner, it is necessary to be aware of the risks of one's own situation and have an understanding of the solutions. The goal of BAS is to help employees do this by making them aware of their personal risks and suggestions for improvement appropriate to those risks.

What situations are covered by the BAS checklist?

It can be used to evaluate work done behind a monitor screen. Since most screen work is done sitting down, the checklist also takes into account the hazards associated with prolonged sitting. And the checklist evaluates screen time relevant to work in general.

In leisure time, it is also common to spend a lot of time behind screens. It is important to be aware of the same risks that apply to using screens in private circumstances. Therefore, even outside working hours, make sure there is enough variety, a suitable workplace at home, and stay alert to the first signs of possible complaints.

Want to learn more about the BAS checklist?

The BAS checklist can be found on the TNO website.

Conclusion

prescription screen glasses are an essential investment for employees who spend a lot of time behind a screen. They offer numerous benefits, including reduced eye strain, headache relief, improved ergonomics and a stylish look. By choosing prescription computer glasses, employees can enjoy improved viewing comfort, increased productivity and a healthy work environment.

‍Do you needprescription screen glasses? 

At Seeh, we're here to help you find the perfect display glasses. Check out our display glasses page for more information or contact us directly.

When you order prescription screen glasses from Seeh, you can use the service at any Hans Anders store near you. Seeh works exclusively with Hans Anders to make hearing and vision affordable and safe for everyone.‍‍

           
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