Is Eyestrain on the Job Causing Employees to Miss Work? 

The Vision Council’s 2016 report, “Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” reports some troubling statistics about the eye strain that American workers are experiencing on the job. The report, based on a survey of more than 10,000 adults, reports that due to overuse of digital devices, 65% of American workers experience symptoms of eye strain that include:

  • Headaches
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Neck and back pain

How the Vision Council Defines Digital Eye Strain

The report states that digital eye strain is discomfort that is felt after two or more hours of using laptop or desktop computers, tablets, smartphones and e-readers. Different factors can affect the severity of the strain, including the proximity of the user to the screen and the amount of high energy visible light emitted by the screens that are being used.

But one thing is clear. People who use any of those devices for extended periods of time daily are at risk. And who uses electronic devices for long periods? Students do, and so do people at work.

How Many People Miss Work Due to Headaches?

We have not been able to find statistics about how many people miss workdays and hours due to all kinds of headaches. But here are some figures that apply to migraine headaches . . .

  • According to, 157 million work hours are missed by American workers every year due to migraine headaches alone.
  • According to the World Health Organization, 25 million work days or school days are missed in the United Kingdom every year due to migraines.

Those statistics, for migraines alone, show that businesses are losing a lot of money to eye strain. They are also failing to address a condition that affects workers’ overall health and job satisfaction.

What Is the Solution to Eyestrain on the Job?

A number of strategies can reduce eyestrain on the job, including . . .

  • Taking frequent breaks from using electronic devices
  • Reviewing and improving office lighting
  • Moving digital devices so they are not placed in front of bright windows
  • Teaching employees to adopt better posture and maintain an appropriate distance from screens
  • Adjusting screen brightness to a level that is high enough to promote easy viewing, but not so bright as to cause eye strain
  • Providing employees with healthcare plans that include vision exams, or giving those exams on the job as part of an employee wellness program

Provide Economical On-Site Vision Exams

If you would like to improve the comfort and well-being of your employees – and lower absenteeism too – contact Smart Vision Labs team and ask how you can offer your employees vision tests and 5-minute eyeglasses prescriptions at your location.

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