How many hours a day do you spend in front of a computer in a week?
Between social media, email, online shopping, media and games, and news, that number has got to be pretty up there. Now add your Anthem College Online classes to the mix and your time spent on the computer just increased even more!
There are side effects that come with spending more time in front of the computer.
Do your eyes get itchy or red after you’ve spent a couple of hours doing your classwork or researching for a paper? Do you ever get headaches or does your vision become blurry? These things are all side effects of strained eyes, which can be exacerbated by spending a lot of time in front of a computer.
If you’ve experienced these symptoms, you are certainly not alone. With an increase in popular technology, including computers, iPads and other tablets, and even eReaders, eye strain is quite common. In fact, writer Kelsey Sheehy of the U.S. News and World Report shares findings from a survey by the American Optometric Association (AOA) that shows that almost 70 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 33 have experienced dry eyes, sensitivity to light, and eye fatigue from extended technology use.
As a big fan of online education (I’ve taken numerous classes online myself), I think the benefits of online education strongly outweigh a little eye strain.
For example, it gives students more flexibility over when and where to do their coursework. This is great for people who are working or have other responsibilities that take up a lot of their time. It can also save money that would be spent on gas driving to and from school, or to pay for another mode of transportation you might use. Plus, it eliminates the commute and the potential stress of commuting that comes along with it, especially if you live in a busy city.
Online education can also be great for students who were never completely comfortable speaking their minds in class. By taking classes online, students still interact with their peers and instructors, but do it with the help of tools such as discussion boards, chat and email, instead of face-to-face in a classroom full of people.
And the best part is there are things you can do to help reduce strain on your eyes from computer use and potential side effects that might come along with it! Sheehy shares these three great tips in her article titled, “Digital Education Shifts Strain from Shoulders to Eyes.”
Give it a rest. For Pete’s sake, give your eyes a break! The AOA suggests using the 20-20-20 Rule. It goes like this. “Every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break, and look at something 20 feet away.” Seems easy enough, right? This is an effective way to stretch your eyes and help minimize stress and strain.
Mind your monitor. According to Jim Sheedy, director of the Vision Performance Institute at Pacific University in Oregon, the top of your computer monitor should be level with your eyes. This allows your eyes to look down at a 10 to 15 degree angle the majority of the time, which is where they are most comfortable. If you can’t adjust the height of your monitor, try moving your chair up or down (if you can) until your eyes are level with the top of your monitor.
Blink. “Most people blink 18 times every minute,” writes Sheehy, “but studies show that amount is cut in half when we use computers and other digital devices, leaving our eyes parched.” So how do you keep your eyes moist? Remind yourself to blink!
If you are an online student at Anthem College Online or another school, I hope you’ll pass along these tips to your fellow students. You might even have friends or family members who spend a lot of time in front of their computer for work or other reasons that could find these tips helpful.
If you are not an online student, but find yourself spending a lot of time on the computer, just think… You could be spending that time furthering your education or getting started on the path toward a new career with education and training from Anthem College Online!
Anthem College Online offers a variety of career-focused programs in fields such as healthcare, paralegal, criminal justice and business. Want to learn more? Visit our website! You can also view a demonstration of what learning at Anthem College Online is like and see if it is right for you.