Average office worker spends about 1,700 hours a year in front of computer screen

LONDON — We’re often told to limit the amount of screen time in our daily lives, but for many of us, we don’t have much of a choice. A new study finds the average office worker spends nearly 1,700 hours in front of a computer screen over the course of a year.

According to a survey of 2,000 office workers by contact lenses manufacturer Acuvue, office workers spend about 6.5 hours a day sitting in front of their computer.

Office worker looking at computer screens
A new study finds the average office worker spends 1,700 hours in front of a computer screen over the course of a year — or about 6.5 hours per day.

Aside from the numerous health risks that stem from sitting for so long every day, 37% of the survey respondents said they have to squint regularly to see the text on their computer screen.  The same number also complain of regular headaches from gazing into a monitor for so long. While many make the text on the screen larger so they can see it better, a quarter of respondents actually move the screen closer to their faces in order to see it better.

“Computers are a relatively new concept – for millions now, staring at a screen all day is the norm,” says Acuvue spokesperson Katie McGeechan in a release. “However if you look back just a few decades, far fewer of us would have spent the day looking into the same glowing rectangle, and when you add mobile phones into the mix, we’re putting our eyes through a lot every day.”

The need to take breaks and look away from screen — either to help restore their eyesight or just to stretch ones legs — was identified by 53% of respondents, who say they also try to take regular time away from the screen every day. Of those who don’t take regular breaks, 48% said they believe they suffer from eye dryness or soreness as a result.

Despite the disturbances, workers don’t seem to be too concerned about their eye health. One in five respondents hadn’t visited an eye doctor in at least two years, and more than half say they pay less attention to the health of their eyes than any other organ.