Vision at work
Working on screens
An increasing number of people are working long hours or even the whole day on a computer. In addition, most are using mobile phones, tablets or some sort of mobile device to access the internet. Additionally, the huge rise in TV shows and TV channels means that a large percentage of people are watching an increasing amount of television.
Given that all these activities involve looking at a screen which requires careful attention to ensure that all displayed information is picked up and understood, several good practices need to be applied to protect our vision :
- An adjusted visual correction has to be worn if needed. A regular eye exam with an ophthalmologist is essential.
- The lighting and the desk's position are important : the desk should not be in front of the light or behind it. Lights should be indirect - desk lamp can light up the keyboard but not the screen.
- The screen should be large enough the contrast and luminosity adjusted to a level where it is not blinding.
- The posture also needs to be adapted with a straight back, supported by a backrest, thighs parallel to the floor, feet on the floor, screen in front of the head, the line of vision almost horizontal with a 30 degrees tilt towards the bottom. The head should not be too close to the screen (50 to 70 cm)
- Also, it is important to take a break of 5-10 minutes every hour, in order to fix on a distant point and rest the eyes.
A regular modification of the posture is necessary.
While working on the screen, blinking is less frequent because the fixing is sustained, which is why the eyes can get dry.
Extended amounts of time looking at screens can cause a Computer vision syndrome
Vision at work and legislation
The visual aptitude is an important element in certain professions.
It's the occupational health doctor who assesses the visual aptitude of an employee, during their medical examination (at recruitment and during periodic visits).
Several tests are systematically done :
- Measurement of visual acuity.
- Measurement of visual field.
- Measurement of colour vision.
Some other tests are done according to professions (vision by night, vision of contrasts, resistance to dazzling...).
Some professions require minimum thresholds of visual aptitude.
Among those professions, are pilot, transportation professionals (road, naval and railway), fire fighters, police officers, customs officers, prison guards etc.