Screen time is essential when working in animation and it’s hard to know exactly how many hours we spend in front of the screens on our desks. But with the occasional evening or weekend shift, we can guess it gets into the region of thousands of hours per year. So how much is too much?
Whether it’s scrutinising detail in production animation or finessing timing on motion graphics, Distant Future’s animation team spends an inordinate amount of time fixating on bright panels just a few feet in front of our face. In the long-term, this will inevitably have an effect on our eyes.
This fact not only degrades one of the most important physical tools that digital-creative types have, but it also affects the rest of our day-to-day lives.
To help combat this, the team in our studio like to take care of themselves. Everyone here has a gym membership that gets used regularly. We have an app that beeps every hour at which point we all get up and move about for a few minutes. And importantly, we take care to blink away some of the strain upon our eyes.
“According to a 2016 Neilsen study, adults spend an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes each day on electronic devices.”
This active blinking in particular came from an episode of the brilliant FX Guide Podcast in which Batool Jafri, MD, the Assistant Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at UCLA gives tips for artists about what they can do to take care of their eyes. Some of the main tips are:
1. For every 20 minutes of work, look away twenty feet and blink twenty times.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Take care to have a good diet.
4. Wear sunglasses when outside.
5. Don’t smoke!
6. Do 30 minutes of physical exercise at least 3 times per week.
If you work with screens all day, the podcast is really worth listening to, so here’s the link – https://www.fxguide.com/fxpodcasts/fxpodcast-312-take-care-of-your-eyes/
Further, if you’re into visual effects and enjoy hearing some of the most experienced, talented and influential people reflect on the cutting edge of their field, you could also check out The VFX Show – https://www.fxguide.com/vfxshow/