One of the best things you can do to reduce eye strain and fatigue when working on a computer is to take better screen breaks! Taking proper screen breaks will help reduce eye strain, fatigue, and headaches by giving your eyes a regular chance to rest. In this article, we’ll talk about why taking breaks is important as well as how often you should be taking them. We’ll also give some helpful tips on what to do during these breaks so they’re not wasted time.
Why Are Screen Breaks So Important?
Taking breaks when working at a computer are important for multiple reasons. First, your eyes are in a fixed position for hours at a time, and regular breaks give your eyes the chance to focus on something different, which will help reduce eye strain and make it less likely for you to experience headaches or migraines. Additionally, getting up from your desk allows you to move around, stretch your legs, and adjust your posture when you sit back down. Finally, breaks give you a moment to mentally reset or recharge and come back with better focus and motivation.
How to Give Your Eyes a Proper Rest
When you take a break from working at your computer, be sure to actually give your eyes a break from ALL screens. This means not checking social media or emails on your phone, turning on the news, or playing Words with Friends. We recommend the 20-20-20 rule as the bare minimum, especially if you’re in the middle of an important project or Zoom meeting and can’t spend too much time away from your desk. The 20-20-20 rule is that every 20 minutes, you should look at something about 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Take this time to check your posture as well!
In regards to a true screen break, we recommend getting up from your desk for at least 5-10 minutes every hour. If your break includes turning on your TV, phone, or tablet, you might be missing the point. There are many other things you can do during your break that don’t involve screens!
What To Do During Screen Breaks
The list of things you can do on your break is extensive, but here are a few of our favorite suggestions. The classic option is to use your time away from screens to stretch a little, grab a snack, or drink some water. It can also be helpful to simply walk around your home or office or take a step outside to reset your focus. Consider trying some breathing exercises or midday meditation if you are feeling stressed or anxious. If you notice eye strain, blurry vision, or headaches persist even after implementing regular screen breaks, visit your local eye care professional to discuss your options.
However you spend your screen breaks, remember that they are supposed to help you rest your eyes and mind so you can stay productive and focused throughout the work day. We would tell you to take a selfie during your next screen break and tag us on Instagram @WhirLocal to let us know how you spend your time… but that would be counterintuitive, wouldn’t it?