Tips for Good Vision in the Modern World

Posted 6 years ago


My Iphone is an extension of my arm. Seriously. My Macbook is a close second, and if I had an Ipad, well, you can bet it wouldn't be far away. And while these gadgets serve me well intellectually - they’re not so great for the eyes, which these days is more of a problem given that we spend a significant portion of our waking hours attached to screen.

Ok, ok, don't worry. We aren't going to suggest you ditch the devices - only that you take the time to create good screen habits to preserve your vision.

So we’ve come up with ten easy-to-implement tips to ensure you (and your kids) are keeping your peepers in best possible shape.

  1. Chin-to-elbow. This distance is called the Harmon distance. Do all sustained near tasks and activities (smartphone, iPad, reading, drawing or computer) at or beyond the Harmon distance – not any closer!

  2. 20 – 20- 20. Every 20 minutes, look 20 meters away for 20 seconds. Relax your eyes and LET the details come into focus, but be aware of other objects nearby and their details.

  3. Centre yourself. Sit comfortably, upright when reading. Breathe in slowly to gently extend the spine. Try to maintain your back erect while you read and write. Avoid reading while lying on your stomach on the floor, and only read in bed if sitting somewhat upright.

  4. Let there be light. Work in good general light, with local lighting directed on to your near task. The light on the task should be about two to three times brighter than the surrounding background. Do not read in the dark or, for the little ones, under the blankets with a torch!

  5. 20 degrees is perfect. If you can, tilt your work up about 20 degrees (this slopes up about 10cm in 30cm) for reading, studying or writing. You will now be more upright and able to work farther away from the task than working flat on the desk.

  6. Self-awareness. Be aware of the space between yourself and the page when beginning to read. Maintain your awareness of things around the book you’re looking at

  7. Two big steps. Sit at least 1.5 to 3m from the T.V. Kids-no closer than two of the biggest steps you can make from the front of the T.V.

  8. Time out. Avoid reading and sustained near activities when travelling in a vehicle, and prolonged reading or study when tired, or within 30 minutes of waking or falling asleep.

  9. Relax. Myopia is associated with tension and pressure including excessive demands, over focussing, over scheduling and trying too hard. Just chillax.

  10. Out you go. Very few of our ancestors were myopic. Research shows that time outdoors helps prevent myopia. At least 2 hours a day outdoors significantly reduces the risk of eyesight getting worse.

More news