Did you know about the 20-20-20 rule? This can help you maintain good eye health when using electronic devices for long periods of time: important advice for Net School Students and Teachers!
On a recent trip to the optician, when I mentioned that I work as an online teacher, I was asked whether I use the 20-20-20 method to help keep my eyes healthy. I had never heard of this before, but once it had been explained to me, I knew immediately that this was something I should pass on to Net School students and colleagues, to help them to look after their eyes when studying or working online. It is in fact useful advice for anyone who works for long periods of time using screens.
The 20-20-20 rule says that for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, a person should look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. This forces you to take a 20-second break from looking at the screen, every 20 minutes. Focusing on an object that is at least 20 feet away relaxes the eye muscles.
This can help prevent conditions such as eye strain, and dry eyes. When we are looking at a screen, we naturally blink less, causing our eyes to be drier than they would otherwise be. Trying to remember to blink more is also helpful, as this encourages tear production, keeping our eyes moist.
Following the rule is a great way to remember to take frequent breaks. Here are some tips on how to use the 20-20-20 rule effectively:
- Set an alarm for every 20 minutes while working, as a reminder to take a break.
- Judging a distance of 20 feet can be difficult. But looking at an object more than 20 feet away works just as well. When in doubt, aim for a longer distance rather than a shorter one.
- Look out a window during the 20-second breaks, if there is one nearby. It may be easier to find a distant object outdoors.
Anyone who spends the day sitting should also periodically get up and walk around, to prevent back and neck pains.