Dry eye syndrome on the increase as screen time reduces blink rate by 60%

Screen time is reducing the normal blink rate by 60 per cent, new research has revealed, resulting in health issues such as dry eye syndrome.

Experts who polled 2,000 UK professionals found Brits typically spend an hour and 28 minutes at their screen before taking a break.

And when they finally take time away from a monitor, breaks will last less than 10 minutes on average.

Of the more extensive periods of computer time, desk workers will go as long as two and a half hours before stepping away from their screen.

Little wonder that a whopping seven in ten say staring at computer screens for prolonged periods is having a detrimental effect on their health, with half of those surveyed saying they don’t stand enough to stretch their legs during the day.

The study was commissioned by Philips LED lighting to examine the effects desk working, whether at the office or working from home, has on the nation’s health.

Dr Hilary Jones, said: “Many people spend at least six hours a day looking at screens either on their mobiles, looking at the television or working on computers.

“The normal blink rate is 10 to 15 times per minute, but this is 60 per cent reduced when looking at computer screens and the most common of all eye disorders is dry eye syndrome which is very much on the increase.”

The research, conducted via OnePoll, found after spending a total of 11 hours a day staring at computer, mobile phone and TV screens, half of hard-working Brits suffer from eye strain.

Additionally, two thirds find they get headaches and migraines because of their working day, suffering from at least two a week.

Forty-six per cent put their back pain down to their working life, with more than a third suffering from dry eyes or neck-related aches.

Two-thirds have made an attempt to improve their health in their workplace by doing things such as reducing screen time, implementing desk exercises or have even taken time off work.

Elina Enqvist-Twomey, Philips LED Product Manager, said: “Screens with their artificial light are dominating our lives.

“Our priority is to ensure we produce quality energy-efficient LED lamps and luminaires that not only reduce environmental impact but make people more safe, productive and comfortable in their own home.

“Signify scientists have developed industry-leading LEDs with Eye Comfort criteria which ensures lights meet lighting standards that have been tested to be comfortable for your eyes.”

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