(212) 844-2020

The Consequences of Remote Work on Vision

Posted on: March 31st, 2024 by Our Team

Although the shift to remote work has had a profound impact on many workers, including those who  have disabilities or are care givers to family members, it has in some instances been linked to a lower quality of sleep, difficulty with relaxing and mental health concerns.  Remote work can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle which can contribute to blood clots, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  In addition, it can also lead to increased eyestrain and result in some engaging in unhealthy habits such as continuous smoking or drinking.

A survey conducted of 2,000 at-home and hybrid workers by All About Vision found that more than half of remote workers reported experiencing an increase in eyestrain during the first quarter of the pandemic.  It also found that an individual working from home spends an average of 13 hours a day looking at a screen that could be a laptop, phone or television.  This is essentially over two hours more than the average on site-worker spends staring at a screen.  Additionally, the survey also found that 68 percent of remote workers reported new eye or vision problems since they started working from home.

Impact on Vision

If an individual is working remotely and spending five hours a day in meetings, that equates to five hours of blue light exposure.  If, on the other hand, an individual is working in an office and meeting with people in person, that same individual would continually adjust his/her vision to allow for seeing things further away and closer which helps to keep eyes healthy.  In essence, people who look at screens for long periods of time are less likely to blink as frequently compared to people not starting at a screen.  This particular habit can contribute to dry eyes and if left untreated, can develop into a chronic problem.  This can also impact quality of life since eyestrain or changes in vision that are accelerated due to staring at screens can lead to headaches.  Additional negative side effects associated with staring at screens for an extended duration can cause double vision, blurred vision and neck pain.

According to Pew Research Center data, since the advent of COVID, approximately 2 million Americans were still working remotely as of March 2023.   COVID was a transformative factor in reshaping how work is conducted.

As these symptoms may be experienced by remote workers, Union Square Eye Physicians are available to examine and treat any vision conditions that may be a direct result from an increased remote work schedule.

End of content dots
Schedule Appointment