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Avoiding Digital Eye Strain: Try the 20/20/20 Rule!

Thursday 19 November 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly created an accelerated shift towards a more digital world for many people. At Queenswood, we have always keenly embraced the use of innovative technology in our teaching and learning, and this ensured that pupils were able to continue their lessons at home during the first lockdown without interruption. Our use of technology continues to develop and improve, and in the last two weeks we were running 404 active Google Classrooms.

As we experience the second wave of the virus outbreak, some of our students have needed to isolate and access their classes from home again. We are very aware that working remotely can be very tiring for the girls, and we are trying as far as possible to ensure that for at least one lesson per day, they are encouraged to work away from their screens.

To look after ourselves at home and school, it is good practice to be mindful of the potential effects of prolonged screen use and how we can support our eye health to avoid digital eye strain.

The symptoms of eye strain may include:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Sore, tired, burning or itchy eyes
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Watery eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light

A simple but effective way to rest your eyes and help to reduce eye strain is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something at least 20 feet away. To get an idea of how far 2o feet away is, it is three quarters of the length of a London bus or the height of an adult giraffe! 

Also make sure to blink often. Staring at digital screens decreases the rate at which you blink and can lead to dry eyes. Try to blink slowly and frequently to maintain moisture levels in your eyes.

Try to keep a healthy distance between your eyes and your screen. The preferred viewing distance between your eyes and a computer monitor is 20-28 inches or 51-71 centimetres, so make your font bigger if you need to when sitting further away.

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