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Blue Light has become the spotlight to our lives as technology becomes a standard necessity in the workplace. As more research is done, we are discovering that Blue Light may be affecting employee health in devastating ways. Employees in standard office jobs spend the majority of their day in front of a Blue Light emitting computer screen. Then, these employees typically go home and use there television or smartphone which also emits Blue Light.
Blue Light directly affects the sleep and productivity of employees. On average, people spend about a quarter of their lives at work which is why Employers should take an active role in promoting a wellness focused work environment. Let’s discuss how Blue Light affects Employee health and what the Employer can do to combat work related Blue Light emission.
Here is what we know:
1.Blue Light is Linked to Cancer
A study in 1990 found that nurses had a 60% higher risk of breast cancer. Researchers discovered that the Blue Light emitting from lights used in corridors after dark may be to blame. Blue Light prevents your body from recognizing that it’s night time which in turn, prevents the production of restorative hormones that fight disease, infection, incipient cancer cells, and reduce stress and anxiety.
2.Blue Light is Linked to Insomnia and Other Sleep Related Side Effects
Our Circadian Rhythm as it pertains to sleep is thrown out of whack due to Blue Light signaling the brain that it is day time. Evening use of Blue Light emitting technology prevents the secretion of melatonin which signals your body to go to sleep. The lack of sleep caused by evening use of Blue Light only snowballs into other health related issues like: increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
3.Blue Light is Linked to Eye Damage
- Digital Eye Strain from looking at Blue Light emitting devices can lead to symptoms like sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.
- Studies suggest continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells which could result in age-related macular degeneration (possible blindness).
- Prolonged exposure to Blue Light can lead to earlier cataract formation.
What Can the Employer Do?
Countless studies have proven that when the Employer takes an active interest in their Employees health, the Employer sees an increase in employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention. As the Employer, it is in the best interest of your business to create a wellness focused workplace environment. Here is how you can assist in decreasing exposure to Blue Light in the workplace and benefit from healthier employees!
- Use “warm”, yellow emitting lights for office lighting.
- Provide Blue Light filters for overhead office lighting.
* I have these filters in my office and LOVE them. They create a very tranquil work space.
- Provide Blue Light filters for computer screens.
- Provide Blue Light filtering eye-wear .
- Promote frequent “screen breaks” following the 20-20-20 Rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to reduce eye strain.
- Promote annual eye exams.
- Avoid the use of white desks and larger white furniture which reflects Blue Light coming from computer screens and office lighting.
*If you are a student or work from home, many of these suggestions to decrease exposure to Blue Light can also be utilized in your home office space or study area!
What steps will you take to reduce Blue Light exposure and create a healthier you at work? Share with us in the comments below!
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