Have you been feeling more tired lately? or have you noticed temporarily blurry vision while working remotely?
If so, there’s a chance that you’ve been suffering from screen fatigue. With so many of us working remotely these days, it’s not surprising that our screens are getting more and more present in our lives and our day-to-day needs.
But is all this screen time taking a toll on our health? Let’s take a closer look at the phenomenon and see if there’s any truth to the rumours.
In this blog, we will explain how being on computer screens the whole day could affect your health if you don’t do this:
First, let's explain two elements
What is Screen Fatigue?
It is a condition that can cause feelings of heaviness, irritability, and general fatigue when using screens for extended periods.
The condition is also sometimes referred to as “digital eye strain.” While the symptoms of screen fatigue are real, the jury is still out on what exactly causes them.
A few theories are floating around about what might be behind that cause. One possibility is that exposure to blue light emitted by screens messes with our natural sleep cycles, making it harder to fall asleep at night.
Another possibility is that staring at screens for long periods leads to dry eyes, which can irritate especially if you were contact lenses. In that case, blurry vision will happen.
Rest assured, eye fatigue does not necessarily always come from a screen or blue light exposure. During concentration, you lose focus; it irritates and increases your eyesight, causing eye irritation.
This could be even more true if you are hosting a webinar and it requires you to be in front of a screen for hours!
Whatever the cause, there’s no denying that screen fatigue is a real phenomenon. It could be your increased screen time if you’ve been feeling extra exhausted lately.
What is blue light?
Blue light is a light that has a shorter wavelength and higher frequency than other types of visible light. It is emitted by screens and other electronic devices, and some scientists believe that it can interfere with our natural sleep cycles.
Some experts recommend using a blue light blocker app or screen protector to reduce our exposure to blue light.
Research shows that “blue light can affect your sleep and potentially cause disease.” Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
Fluorescent and LED lights produce blue light too. Almost all colours on our observable light spectrum differ from wavelength to energy level. Blue light is more powerful than any other light.
Now let's dive in.
How to Prevent Screen Fatigue in a few simple tips
There are a few things you can do to prevent or reduce the symptoms of screen fatigue.
Make sure to take frequent breaks often when working on a computer or other digital devices with a light-emitting diode. The general rule is every 20 minutes or so, look away from your screen and focus on something else in the room for at least 20 seconds.
This will help reduce eye strain and give your brain a much-needed break.
Too much screen time can lead to “computer vision syndrome.” This temporary condition causes eye strain, irritated eyes, headaches, and blurred vision. It’s usually caused by staring at a computer screen for long periods.
The symptoms usually go away after you take a break from the screen.
Invest in a pair of blue light glasses, also known as “computer glasses,” which block out some of the harmful blue light emitted by screens to human eyes.
Blue light or “computer glasses” won’t eliminate screen fatigue or cancel the light completely but they may help reduce the symptoms somewhat.
If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break from them by switching to glasses when working on a screen. This will help reduce the risk of dry eyes and irritation.
Have some artificial tears that you can use from time to time if you are not in a position to remove or not wear your contact lenses.
Adjust the lighting in your room so that you’re not working in complete darkness or under bright fluorescent lights. Ideally, you want a mix of natural and artificial light from the sun.
Consider investing in a light bulb that emits less blue light, such as a LED bulb.
They are great options for those looking to invest in a light bulb that emits less blue light. LED bulbs typically have a longer lifespan than other types of light bulbs, and they use less energy, making them a more environmentally friendly choice: a win/win situation!
Make sure your screen is at eye level and arm’s length. Looking down at a computer screen can put a strain on your neck and eyes.
If you can’t adjust your screen, try using a laptop stand or also known as a “laptop booster” that you can buy pretty much anywhere online or in any major stores.
For an inexpensive and quick fix, use a book underneath it to prop it up.
Last but not least
Be sure to practice good sleep hygiene by disconnecting from any type of digital device screen at least an hour before bedtime. This will help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
Blue light can cause sluggish sleeping and interferes with sleep cycles.
It has been shown to suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. This can lead to problems getting enough sleep and may have other adverse health effects.
No more YouTube cat videos before bed!
While the exact cause of the condition is still unknown, screen fatigue is a real phenomenon that can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, and blurred vision.
If you’ve been feeling extra tired lately, it could be due to your increased screen time and too much exposure to blue light.