We check our smartphone 221 times a day on average. The average active screen time is between 90 and 160 minutes per day. That is excluding navigating and listening to music via the smartphone. That is a total of 23 days per year if you spend 90 minutes checking your phone. If you are on your phone for 160 minutes a day, it’s 40 days a year. A study by CBS shows that we spend an average of 10 hours per week behind a computer screen. That is on top of the screen time of the smartphone. Frequently looking to a screen has an effect on the eyes. It can lead to dry, watery, irritated eyes and even a decrease of eyesight can occur. To prevent this I share with you 5 quick yoga exercises to prevent eye complaints and tips how to reduce screen time.
Eye Roll Exercise – 2 minutes | 2 sets of 10 reps
- Sit or stand straight. Keep your shoulders relaxed, neck straight, and look ahead.
- Look to your right and then slowly roll your eyes up towards the ceiling.
- Roll your eyes down to your left and from there, down towards the floor.
- Do this in the clockwise and anti-clockwise directions with eyes open or closed.
Rub Down Eye Exercise – 3 minutes | 1 set of 7 reps
- Sit or stand comfortably and briskly rub your palms together until they feel warm.
- Close your eyes and place a palm over each eyelid. Feel the warmth seeping into your eyes.
- Don’t press down with the palms on your eyeballs, but let them gentile cover them.
The Moving Finger Eye Exercise – 2 minutes | 1 sets of 7 reps
- Sit on a chair. Relax your shoulders, keep your neck straight, and look ahead.
- Take a pencil in your right hand and hold it in front of your nose. Focus on the tip.
- Extend your arm fully and bring it back to the nose.
- Switch to the left hand and go again.
Eye Press Exercise – 1 minute | 1 set of 5 reps
- Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take a deep breath and slowly exhale.
- Place the middle finger on each eyelid and press very lightly for about 10 seconds.
- Release the pressure for about 2 seconds and press slightly again.
Eye Massage – 2 minutes | 1 set of 10 reps
- Sit straight with your shoulders relaxed.
- Tilt your head back a little and close your eyes.
- Place your index and middle fingers gently on each eyelid.
- Move the right fingers in the anti-clockwise direction and left fingers in the clockwise direction.
- Repeat 10 times before changing the direction of the circular motion.
Alternative Eye Relievers
- Hot and cold
This can be a great reliever at the end of a (hard and long) day at work. Take a bowl of hot water and another of cold water. Dip and lightly squeeze one washcloth or cotton pad in each bowl. First, place the hot compress on your eyes and eyebrows. Feel the warmth and savour it for about 5 seconds and then switch to the cold compress for 5 seconds. Repeat at least 5 times.
- Take a nap
Sleeping or taking a short nap is the best way to relax and rejuvenate your eyes. In fact, taking power naps can improve your productivity and enhance brain function. So, give your eyes some true rest with a power nap.
Reducing screen time
For RTL News psychologist Anna van Oenen shared practical tips how to reduce screen time on smartphones. Watch her tips in this video (Dutch).