Eye health crisis: 40% of UK office workers working long hours on screens
A new survey of UK office workers has revealed that employees’ eye health is being put under huge strain by modern working practices – with almost half (40%) of workers admitting to working in front of screens for more than two hours without a break.
While opticians recommend the 20-20-20 rule, which suggests taking a break of at least 20 seconds, every 20 minutes and looking at least 20 feet away, 84% of UK employees work much longer than 20 minutes without taking a break.
According to the study, conducted by Specsavers, tiredness was the leading reason people are unproductive at work, but findings also show that employees find close working on screens as tiring as physical labour. Working on screens was considered the most tiring activity, according to 29% of the respondents. Tasks requiring prolonged periods of standing (17%) and in-person meetings (14%) were also identified as reasons for tiredness.
Giles Edmonds, Clinical Services Director at Specsavers, said: “Our survey findings should be a real eye-opener for both employers and employees alike. Eye health is fundamental to employee wellbeing, yet it seems not enough is being done to prioritise it, which could impact wellbeing and productivity. People should be mindful of the effects of working long hours at a stretch.”
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers are legally required to fund eye tests for employees using visual display units (VDU) or display screen equipment (DSE). Specsavers offers Corporate eVouchers which allows employers to meet their legal obligations in a cost-effective way.
Edmonds continued: “Specsavers Corporate eVouchers are easy for HR teams to set up and encourage employees to access regular eye check-ups free of charge, in a location that’s convenient to them.”