How to Reduce Computer Eye Strain Symptoms at Work | Tesco Opticians Blog


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How to Reduce Computer Eye Strain Symptoms at Work

Posted On 20 April 2016

 Computer eye strain

Get comfortable eyes at work by using the tips in this blog to set up a safe and healthy work space and help prevent eye strain symptoms.


In preparation for World Safety and Health at Work Day which falls on April 28th next week, we’ve compiled some great advice from the Health and Safety Executive to help you improve comfort and reduce computer eye strain symptoms at work. 

After all, the healthier you feel and the more comfortable your eyes are, the happier and more productive you will be.

In the modern world there aren’t many professions that don’t involve sitting at a desk and looking at a screen for at least part of the day.

Many office workers feel like they spend their lives looking at screens. If you find yourself catching up on news on your phone the moment you wake up, using a computer all day at work, and watching TV or browsing the internet on your laptop or tablet at home of an evening then it’s hardly surprising if you suffer from uncomfortable eye strain symptoms from time to time. 

Eye strain symptoms can include dry, tired, strained eyes and headaches which can be reduced and sometimes avoided all together by setting up a safe and healthy workspace and taking necessary precautions and breaks to protect your eyes.

Get comfortable eyes at work by using the following tips from the Health and Safety Executive to help relieve eye strain symptoms at work.


Are you sitting comfortably? It’s important to ensure that your desk, computer and chair at work are all set up in a way that encourages good posture to reduce eye strain symptoms and other aches and pains. Adjust your chair so that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are level with, or slightly lower than your hips.  

When you put your fingers on the middle row of your computer keyboard your forearms and hands should be horizontal, and your elbows positioned vertically under your shoulders.       

The back rest on your chair should be positioned to support your lower back. 

eye strain computer desk


The height of your computer screen should be approximately an arm’s length away from you and adjusted so that the top of the screen is at eye level when sitting up straight to avoid awkward eye movements and eye strain.

Avoid positioning your computer screen so that you’re sitting with a window or bright lighting either behind or in front of you; always keep windows and lighting to the side of your desk where possible to avoid subjecting your eyes to bright reflections or glare.   

computer desk window eye strain

Adjust the brightness of your screen to a level that suits the lighting conditions in the room and feels comfortable for you.


If you work at a computer for long stretches of time it is important to take regular breaks from looking at the screen. As well as taking short breaks of 5 minutes or so away from your desk every hour to stretch your limbs and rest your eyes, you should also take a few seconds every 20 minutes to look into the distance and give your eyes a break from focusing on the screen.

Many people suggest using a 20/20/20 rule, meaning that every 20 minutes you should take at least 20 seconds to look at a point that is about 20 feet away. 

Need some help remembering? 

Visit the helpful website and enable notifications on your browser to get a reminder every 20 minutes to look away from your screen.

Giving your eyes very short but regular breaks from looking at the screen will help to prevent eye strain symptoms and sore, tired eyes.


Take breaks eye strain


Many studies show that when looking at screens we blink less, and sometimes when we do blink it is an incomplete blink. Less frequent blinking will cause reduced tear production, which can result in uncomfortable, dry eyes.

Try to make a conscious effort to blink more frequently when looking at a computer screen for long periods of time. If your eyes still get very dry when looking at screens your optometrist may recommend appropriate eye drops to help alleviate the symptoms.

Correct eyewear

If you’re regularly suffering from headaches and/or eye strain symptoms then it’s important to get your eyes tested to check that you’re wearing the right prescription glasses or contact lenses. Wearing an incorrect prescription can cause your eyes to feel strained as they’re constantly trying to focus and correct your vision. If you’re not yet a glasses wearer and are suffering from symptoms of eye strain then you may need to start wearing glasses for computer work. Book an eye test to have your eyesight tested.

Don’t forget that at Tesco Opticians our eye tests are FREE so there’s no excuse to put off having your eyes checked! Our prescription glasses start at just £15 including lenses. Book an appointment at your local Tesco Opticians online here.

Follow the steps in this blog to protect your eyes and become more productive, comfortable and happy in the workplace.


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