Computer eye strain is an increasingly frequent problem because we spend more and more time staring at digital screens. If you feel completely exhausted (computer eye strain) due to an intense workday on a computer, try physical exercise.

Working on a computer screen is visually more demanding than working with printed text. It requires frequent eye movements and continuous focusing and alignment. It is both visually and physically fatiguing.

Yesterday was one of those days for me. Tasks and problems mounted throughout the day. I was so absorbed by the work that I forgot to take periodic breaks and take due care of my light sensitive eyes. When I got home I had a headache and felt exhausted. It felt like lying down in the dark and resting with my eyes closed.

Naturally, I opted for the couch in the company of my family. However, after quite some time the feeling of exhaustion wasn’t going away. So I started thinking that perhaps I should do some exercise. It was completely against what my body was asking me (to rest). However, I remembered that often after a hard-day’s work – long before having any serious photophobia (light sensitivity) related problems – exercise helped me feel much, much better.

It took me five or ten minutes to win the resistance of my body and start doing pushups, squat-jumps, sit-ups, pull-ups …, in my living room with my wife and kids around me. I took no brakes between exercises, so as to get my heart pumping for ten or fifteen minutes straight. Then I stopped and … a miracle: I felt re-created, re-energized.

Physical exercise beats computer eye strain

The symptoms of computer eye strain were gone and I functioned normally until going to bed several hours later. This seemed unimaginable at the time of getting home from work. And I slept well at night, which, in my experience, is something not to be taken for granted if you spend the evening resting on the couch.

In essence exercise has a similar effect on computer eye strain (and any other type of eye strain) as  hot & cold eye strain relief therapy. It increases the blood flow in the eyes and around them, such that one recovers faster from computer eye strain. I imagine any type of exercise will do, as long as it brings your heart rate up and makes you breathe hard.

What about exercising during short, periodic breaks from computer work (say every hour) – would that be a way of prevention from computer eye strain? Does anyone have any experience with that? Have you had similar experiences with computer eye strain and exercise? Any other ideas for quick recovery from computer eye strain?