Staring at that screen? Do you remember the last time you looked away? How about the last time you blinked? Screen work is now one of the leading causes of dry eyes, which can lead to other eye-health problems such as eye inflammation and blurred vision, and leaving your eyes more susceptible to infection. It can also train your eyes to optimise for short distance viewing, which can compromise your distance vision.
Time Out for Some Eye Exercises
Turn away from the monitor. Focus on something in the middle distance. With your head still, move your eyes up and down and side to side, making sure that you move your eye as far as you can comfortably go towards the periphery of your eye socket without actually closing your eyes.
Now do this exercise diagonally: look to the top left and slide your eyes down to the bottom right and back to the top left, and then look across to the top right and slide your eyes down to the bottom left and back to the top right.
Now draw a slow large circle with your eyes, clockwise and anticlockwise, and, again, keep your head still and look as far out at each point on the circle as you comfortably can. Do this for a few minutes, closing and resting your eyes if you feel any aching or if they start watering.
Note: See your optometrist for a check up if these eye exercises hurt when you do them, or if you have a headache developing either when you are working or when you stop and try to focus on a more distant object.
Elsa Neal has been staring at a screen for twenty years (with breaks). She's been doing yoga for nearly ten years. Find more Exercises for Writers and Other Desk Slaves at HearWriteNow.com.