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Is excessive screen time harming Gen Z workers’ eye health?

Photo: SrdjanPav/gettyimages

Rancho Cordova, CA — More than 4 out of 5 Generation Z employees say they’re working longer hours – and most say their eye health is suffering as a result.

That’s a finding of a recent survey involving 800 human resource/employee benefit leaders and 800 adult full-time workers in the United States.

More than half (54%) of the Gen Z workers who said they’ve worked longer hours in the past year – including nights and weekends – also reported spending more time looking at screens, which has led to digital eyestrain, headaches, dry eyes and blurred vision. Less than half of millennials (49%), Gen Xers (39%) and baby boomers (31%) surveyed reported similar concerns.

Other findings:

  • Overall, 69% of the workers said they’ve worked longer hours over the past year, with 43% indicating that their eye health has worsened.
  • On average, the workers reported getting more than 96 hours of screen time a week, with more than a third of that time coming on the job. Over the course of a year, this equates to 208 full days of screen time.
  • Average daily screen time for remote and hybrid workers was seven hours, compared with 5.5 for onsite workers.

A report outlining the survey results highlights the American Optometric Association’s recommendation to follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain caused by excessive screen time: Every 20 minutes take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. 

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