Workers blame computer use at work for damaged eyesight

Almost half the UK working population attributes damaged eyesight to use of a computer at work, according to research.

The survey of nearly 1,700 UK workers, by research firm Tickbox, reveals that a further 14% say over-exposure to computer screens is the reason they now wear glasses or contact lenses.

The survey, commissioned by eyecare firm Accor Services, also found that one in five UK workers has not had their eyes tested in five years, with only one-third aware of their right to a free eye test through work.

Of those workers who were aware of their right to an employer-paid eyetest, only half had taken advantage of it.

The main barriers to taking this up are

  • Concern that it would still involve a cost to them (12%)

  • Confusion as to whether or not they are entitled (15%)

  • and not wanting to ask their boss (22%).

  • Male workers are more reluctant than females to approach their boss for an eyetest.

Key findings from the survey:

  • One in two workers attribute ‘diminished’ eyesight to use of computer at work

  • A fifth of workers ‘afraid’ to ask boss for right to employer-paid eyetest

  • Only one in three workers aware of their right to an employer paid eyetest

  • 1.5 million employees have gone absent due to eye-related illness

  • Only 25% of infrequent computer users require permanent eyewear compared with 40% of heavy computer users.

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