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Eye Exercises to Reduce Eye Strain and Promote Healthy Eyes


“The eyes are the window to the soul” – William Shakespeare

If you have a good pair of working eyes, you should make it a point to look after them. Especially since we live in a technologically advanced environment, a lot goes into looking at our phone and laptop screens. Studies have shown that the average American spends 4-6 hours a day on their phones. Around 57% of the people surveyed said they were experiencing more ‘screen-aches’ than ever before. This can lead to eye fatigue, dry eyes, loss of focus, nearsightedness, and other optical issues. On top of this, there are other factors, like everyday stress, that lead to eye ailments. Stress itself can cause blurry vision, eye twitching, dizziness, light sensitivity, and eye spasms.

So how can we look after our eyes? It goes without saying that you should visit an ophthalmologist to get regular check-ups. Wear glasses or contact lenses if needed. And aoid doing things that stress out your eyes unless absolutely necessary.

Along with these steps, the best thing you can do is practice exercises that promote eye health. This may come as a surprise to you, but exercise and eye health go hand in hand. These are quite easy and just take about 10-15 minutes to do. You can do them at home. And there are mamy exercises to reduce eye strain to choose from, so take your time and decide which of these suits you best. In this article, we’re going to explore some of these exercises.

Exercises to reduce eye strain

These eye strain relief exercises are gentle and can be done while lying down too!

  • – “Eye Rolling” – look right, then up, then left, and finally down to complete one eye roll. Repeat this 10 times clockwise, and then counterclockwise.
  • – “Eye Press” – Put your finger on each eye and press down gently for 10 seconds. release for two seconds and repeat.
  • – “Eye Bounce” – Stand, sit, or lie down and look straight ahead. Move your eyes up and down briskly 10 times. Stop for 5 seconds then repeat.

Another important tip is to take as many screen breaks as you can!

What is the 20-20-20 Eye Rule?

For every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something that’s 20 feet away from you, for 20 minutes.

This is one of the best eye exercises for computer strain and is particularly helpful for those who spend many hours on their laptops, tablets or phones. Changing the focus of your eyes helps exercise your eye muscles, and it takes about 20 minutes for your eyes to totally relax.

This 20-20-20 rule to help with eye strain is only effective if you do it regularly. It has to be after 20 minutes of looking at your device’s screen. So set a timer or a reminder on your phone itself so that you don’t forget! There are apps you can download just for this, too.

Additional exercises to help support eye health

  • – Focus Change –  Hold your forefinger a few inches away from one eye and focus on it. While holding your focus, move that finger further away from your face. Then look away into the distance for a few seconds. Then focus again on that same finger and bring it back towards your eye. Again, look away and focus on something else. Repeat this 3 times.
  • – Figure Eight – Trace an imaginary figure 8 on the floor, about 10 feet in front of you. Trace in one direction for 30 seconds and then switch directions.
  • – Pencil Push-ups – Hold a pencil in your hand directly in front of you. Move it slowly towards your nose. Follow the pencil with your eyes, keeping it in focus. When you start seeing the pencil in double vision, move it away from your nose. Repeat.

Another tip to support eye health would be to eat nutritiously. Include plenty of spinach, egg yolks, blueberries, oranges, and carrots in your diet. Or you can simply take eye health supplements as sometimes you don’t get enough nutrients from the average diet.

There you have it – a list of exercises for improved eye health, and general physical well-being. You don’t have to be perfect with these, just do a few exercises whenever you get some free time. In the long run, you’ll be happy that you did. And these are probably the best kind of exercises since you can do them sitting, or even lying down! Maybe now that you’ve read this entire blog post, you should try doing one of these exercises to see how it goes.


Gene Bruno is professor of nutraceutical science at Huntington University of Health Sciences and also the senior director of product innovation for Twinlab Consolidation Corporation. Bruno has bachelor's and master's degrees in nutrition, as well as a graduate diploma and master's degree in herbal medicine. As a 40-year veteran of the dietary supplement industry and award-winning formulator, he has developed natural products for dozens of dietary supplement companies; educated and trained natural product retailers and health care professionals; and written articles on nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals and integrative health issues for trade, consumer and peer-reviewed publications, as well as authoring books and textbook chapters.