Do you sit in front of a computer all day at work? Even a couple of hours of screen time can cause digital eye strain symptoms to surface. Here’s what to look out for plus a few tricks to help you avoid eye strain.

Digital eye strain mimics all of the typical eye strain symptoms, and these symptoms tend to appear after looking at screens for extended periods of time. The graphic below includes some great tips on how to protect yourself a bit from digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain is actually the most common repetitive injury related to desk work, and that’s not really surprising when you think about it. Folks with a desk job often spend far more than two hours at a time focused on a computer screen. We also tend to watch TV or spend time looking at our smart phones or tablets when we aren’t at our desks. All of that screen time is hard on our eyes!

Of course, the simplest solution is to spend less time looking at screens, but if you work a computer-related job, that might not be an option. As a freelance writer and someone who used to data entry work, I can certainly sympathize! I’ve tried many of the tips below, especially when I was at my data entry job, and the one that worked best for me was taking miniature breaks. Every so often throughout the day, take a moment to look away from your screen. Focus on something far away to balance out the close up focusing that you’ve been doing.

The graphic below recommends 20 seconds for every 20 minutes of screen time, but if that doesn’t fit into your work rhythm, that’s okay! The best way to put that tip into practice is to break your work up into mini tasks. After you finish entering a page of data or writing a section of your report, take a break. That page or section could take 20 minutes, or it could take longer. What seemed to work best for me was looking at a far-off object until it came into focus, rather than for a specific length of time.