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Wellbeing: Time to promote the 20-20-20 rule

Nine in 10 British businesses are failing to meet their legal responsibilities to protect employees’ eyesight, claims a new study from Eye Health UK and Vision Express Opticians. It reveals that although the Health and Safety Display Screen Equipment (DSE) regulations place a legal obligation on employers to make sure they care for the eye health of staff who regularly use a computer screen, 4 in 10 businesses have no eye care policy, 51% of businesses don’t provide regular sight tests and just 49% encourage staff to take breaks when carrying out intensive screen work.

David Cartwright, chairman of the charity Eye Health UK, says that with 85% of office workers suffering symptoms of screen fatigue after a day in the office, such as headaches, eyestrain and problems with close and long-distance vision, employers must do more to publicise the 20-20-20 rule. “Taking regular breaks during prolonged screen use is vital to keep your eyes healthy. I’d urge all screen users to follow the 20-20-20 rule – look away fro the screen every 20 minutes and focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s a really simple and effective way to minimise screen fatigue, yet our research shows only one in five screen users has heard of the 20-20-20 rule and even fewer practise it,” he said. To help employers and employees improve eye health, Vision Express and Eye Health UK are launching The Big Blink.