March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Workplace Eye Wellness Month

Prevent Blindness, one of the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety groups, has declared March as Workplace Eye Wellness Month. The main goal is to raise awareness about eye health and safety in the workplace, which is becoming an increasingly more important observance. According to a 2018 Nielsen study, American adults spend more than 11 hours per day staring at screens while interacting with media. That’s an increase of nearly an hour and half over the past 4 years. Most digital devices have light-emitting diodes (LED) that radiate blue wave-length light. Prolonged exposure can lead to digital eye strain, dry and irritated eyes, blurred vision, eye fatigue, neck and even back pain and headaches. Research has also linked blue light exposure to the slow degeneration of the retina.

In addition to increased screen time, many employees also work outside of an office setting. Thus, eye safety is another important topic. Research shows that nearly 2,000 Americans suffer an eye injury, which has led to an estimated $300 million in lost productivity, medical expenses and workman’s compensation.

Observing Workplace Eye Wellness Month

This month is a great time to start focusing on your employees’ eye health. Prevent Blindness has great resources and educational materials relating to eye health and safety, as well as information on age-related eye disease. During the month of March, consider handing or emailing these out to employees, or even use them as part of a seminar on eye health! You can also create posters or handouts of “The 20-20-20 Rule!” In their latest Well Balanced Issue, WELCOA suggested using the 20-20-20 rule to help you take a break from the screen. Every 20 minutes or so and look at something around 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Educating your employees on this rule can help maintain their eye health and avoid digital eye strain!

If you have employees working outside the office in an environment that poses hazards to their eyes, make sure to they are informed about when to use safety eyewear. More importantly, ensure that each employee has been provided the proper safety wear. For more information on eye safety in the workplace, click here!

Improving Employees’ Eye Wellness

With the amount of time employee’s spend on their computer, most will experience digital eye strain and dry, tired eyes at some point. However, if it continues, it can lead to vision problems overtime. According to the American Optometric Association Study on Optometry, even the slightest vision problem can reduce employee productivity by 10% and accuracy by 40%. It can also affect the employee’s overall health. That is why vision benefits are a growing trend within wellness programs. Vision benefits help make vision care more affordable by offering employees’ savings on eye exams, frames, lenses, contact lenses and sun wear. If employees have access to these benefits, they are more likely to go to their annual eye exams and take the necessary actions to take care of their eyes. This not only improves their overall health, but it can help make your organization stand out when attracting new, top talent.

To learn more about incorporating vision benefits into your wellness programs and the possible savings they could yield, click here!

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