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Digital Eye Strain: More Than Just Tired Eyes

October 17, 20233 min read

The world is connected, and screens are unavoidable. But what happens when prolonged screen usage starts affecting your eyes, productivity, and even your physical health? Let’s dive into the world of Digital Eye Strain.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

In today’s digitized era, most of our work, entertainment, and communication revolve around screens. However, prolonged screen time can lead to a condition called Digital Eye Strain (DES) or Computer Vision Syndrome. Characterized by dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches, this condition has become alarmingly common, especially in the workspace.

What Causes Digital Eye Strain?

1. Prolonged Screen Time: Staring at screens for extended periods decreases our blink rate, causing our eyes to dry out.

2. Blue Light Emission: Digital devices emit blue light, which is believed to cause eye discomfort after prolonged exposure.

3. Incorrect Viewing Distances: Sitting too close or too far from the screen or viewing at the wrong angle can strain your eyes.

4. Glare and Bad Lighting: Glare on screens or working under harsh lighting conditions can make it harder for the eyes to focus.

Digital Eye Strain and Work Performance

Reduced Productivity: DES can lead to frequent breaks due to discomfort, reducing overall productivity.

Mistakes at Work: Blurred vision and fatigue can increase the chances of errors in tasks.

Decreased Concentration: Persistent discomfort can lead to a decrease in focus and concentration.

Musculoskeletal Dysfunction and Worker’s Comp Claims

It may surprise many, but DES doesn’t stop at affecting just our eyes. Prolonged screen time can lead to poor postures, and people often lean forward or slouch when they can’t see clearly. Over time, these poor postures can lead to musculoskeletal dysfunctions. Complaints about neck and back pain among office workers are often linked to this.

Furthermore, there’s a rise in worker’s compensation claims related to digital eye strain and associated musculoskeletal dysfunctions. In the US, for instance, repetitive strain injuries, including those from prolonged computer use, have started to account for over $20 billion in annual worker’s compensation costs.

Tips to Combat Digital Eye Strain

1. The 20–20–20 Rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away. This simple practice can significantly reduce the risk of DES.

2. Proper Screen Positioning: The screen should be at arm’s length away and positioned slightly below eye level.

3. Reduce Glare: Use screen protectors and ensure your workspace is adequately lit without causing screen glare.

4. Regular Eye Check-ups: Ensure you have the correct prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.


Digital Eye Strain is a modern-day malady that can have profound implications on our work performance and physical health. Being aware of the issue and taking proactive steps can significantly mitigate the risks.

So, the next time you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on your device, remember the implications and give your eyes the break they deserve.

Share this article on Social Media to spread awareness about Digital Eye Strain!

Do you have personal experiences with Digital Eye Strain or additional tips to share? Leave a comment below!

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About the Author: Michael Jones, MS, CErg is an Author, Speaker, and Ergonomist with over a decade of experience in Workplace Wellness. He is passionate about educating people on the importance of Posture in the digital age.

Michael frequently speaks at conferences and his book, Stand Up! Upgrade Your Posture and Transform Your Life is for modern-day workers who are dealing with back pain to find a new way to resolve it and become high-performance workers.

Follow him on Instagram for posture and workplace wellbeing tips

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Michael Jones

About Michael Jones, MS, CErg Michael Jones is an Author and ergonomist with over 15 years of practical experience in physical therapy and rehabilitation. He shares tips and videos with his 15k followers on Instagram. He is the author of Stand Up! Upgrade Your Posture…Transform Your Life.

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