The simple way to increase productivity
These days, almost every job requires some form of computer use. And while standing desks, height adjustable chairs and gel-cushioned mouse pads have all become standard office equipment, the serious health risks of prolonged exposure to screens is being widely ignored.
There’s a health hazard being overlooked in our ever-growing digital workplaces – blue light. And it’s causing headaches, fatigue, and costing your business.
The most overlooked workplace hazard
Most of the electronic devices used in our workplaces today use LED lighting to enhance brightness and improve clarity. But unfortunately these blue-light rays are harmful, and just 2 consecutive hours of exposure can cause eyestrain and fatigue. This means as our work lives become ever more screen-reliant, we are being exposed to this danger for hours on end.
When we look at screens, we are exposing our eyes to short, high-energy bursts of flickering blue light. These rays cause glare and create the well-known glow that emanates from our devices. Our eyes don’t provide sufficient protection against this blue light, and prolonged exposure to these wavelengths is a common reason for eyestrain, headaches and psychical and mental fatigue often reported by workers. Ignored over time, these blue-light rays can cause severe retinal damage, and contribute to age-related macular degeneration.
Blue light exposure is also proven to reduce our ability to sleep by supressing melatonin, mimicking natural sunlight and confusing our internal body clock. Lack of sleep means lack of alertness, slower reactions to situations and a reduced ability to make good decisions. If employees don’t have enough sleep, their ability to perform efficiently, effectively and safely decreases.
Studies by Safe Work Australia show workers who have had less than 6 hours of sleep double their risk of having an accident or injury, with anything less than 5 hours sleep recognised as a measurable impairment.
The true cost of sick workers
In any business, healthy employees are the most valuable asset. That’s why more employers are introducing ergonomic practice and design into their workplaces to keep their staff well. But something is missing because employee absenteeism is on the rise in Australia - increasing by 7% since 2010, with a shocking 5% of the workforce calling in sick every day.
Absences cost the average Australian business $340 per day, and the most recent statistics available show work related injuries and disease costs the Australian economy $61.8billion per annum. The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy has identified healthy and safe workplace design as it’s number one action area, advising employers to focus more on the prevention of hazards and risks.
One of the most overlooked design factors for creating a productive, healthy work environment is lighting. Since most jobs require prolonged use of a computer, tablet or other digital monitor, blue light is an increasingly serious hazard – and those affected are often not aware of the cause of their discomfort. In order to keep staff happy and healthy, blue light minimisation procedures need to become a standard feature of ergonomic design.
Benefits of a healthy workplace
Harvard health experts recommend protective eyewear for employees in this digital age. That’s why many forward-thinking businesses are adopting blue-light filter glasses like Baxter Blue into their employee toolkits.
Baxter Blue glasses are stylish, with specially designed clear lenses to block harmful blue light, increase contrast and reduce glare. Supplying digital eyewear to your staff shows your commitment to their safety and health, and can radically improve your workplace culture. And because they’re considered a necessary tool, it’s a business expense – so you won’t be out of pocket.
Best of all, when your employees feel supported and comfortable throughout their workday, they’ll also be more engaged. You can expect productivity to improve (and sick days to reduce), with benefits to the business, workers, and clients.
Enhance your team’s focus, motivation and productivity. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
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Blue light is everywhere, and it has both benefits and dangers. If you want protect yourself from digital harm, it’s worth knowing more about it.
As technology becomes ever more ingrained in our lives, our kids are using devices from the moment their small hands can grab them. Recent studies into the behavioural patterns of children have shown screen time only increases with age, leading scientists to wonder how young, developing eyes are impacted by all of these devices.