Wouldn’t you want to know?
What if there’s a non-communicable pandemic that’s rife in public health?
One that affects the well-being economy and excludes a significant proportion of the population in education (about 30%), impairs performance, increases presenteeism, whilst simultaneously reducing productivity by around 20% (or one day a week), at the cost of £9k plus per person in the workplace?
Wouldn’t you want to know what it was and what’s causing it?
Well, here it is in all its underwhelming glory:
It’s screen fatigue, exacerbated by the unbelievably slow adoption of the UK and International Accessibility Regulation Statements.
That’s it, & that’s what’s causing it.
Only it’s not underwhelming for those that suffer from it.
Implementing these regulations would prevent this silent pandemic of early onset of eyestrain, screen fatigue or Computer Vision Syndrome for 58% of Display Screen Equipment Operators.
It would prevent them from presenting with visual repetitive stress injuries / monocular 2D adaptations, myopic and asthenopic (eyestrain) diseases.
Surprising and hard to believe?
Well, not really…
Both the NHS & RSPH introduced exposure control nudge campaigns (around the same time), but before Accessibility Regulations were published for 2018/2019.
Yet nothing happens.
The No One Left Behind or Leveling-Up Schemes are still omitting the functionally illiterate and diverse, those at a 4-to-7-fold increased risk of early-onset eyestrain by comparison with fluent readers.
Globally, introducing Binocular Vision assessments in early childhood gathers momentum. However, patients are limited to traditional (often described as centuries-old) Vision Therapy, such as simple eye exercises, eye-patching and pencil push-ups, Brock-Sting etc.
Not to mention the ineffective, some would say brutal, “cosmetic surgery” to realign the eyes that all too often needs to be repeated.
Commercially, correction by prescription glasses and conventional VT sustains many opticians’ practices; we now have 50% more teenagers mirroring myopic and asthenopic disease symptoms, seen in many adult DSE operators in the workforce.
(There are some figures from the USA, highlighted 6 minutes into this video, that the lifetime costs of glasses/ contact lenses are around $45K. )
From a Public Health perspective, this is a disaster, raising the question: Will the UK begin to promote Digital Eye-Health, alongside the Decade of Health Campaign going forward?
And can they do anything to encourage more than 10% of businesses to implement them?
Meanwhile, in a corner of the New Forest…
We are finding other solutions to this pandemic, and we are working hard on one of them as part of our campaign for access to text for all suffering from DSE vision stress.
As far as we know, we are undertaking the only clinical trial for companion ISO 30071.1 DSE Colour Contrast Calibration. As a result, we are the only ones looking at the impact that colour contrast validation has on our visual systems and overall visual systems digital eye-health prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation.
(You can read much more about this on our website www.screenrisk.com )
Nigel Dupree is the Founder of the SMART Foundation and creator of the Display Screen Optimiser; software that objectively chooses the correct colour contrast validation for your screen.
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