As the length of time we spend looking at a computer, iPhone, Kindle, etc. continues to increase I wanted to discuss the importance of the 20/20 rule. Whether referring to reading a book, using an iPad, or playing on a Nintendo DS there is a widely accepted 20/20 rule for usage. It states that for every 20 minutes you spend doing a near task, you should give your visual system a 20 second break. This break can include looking across the room, looking out your office window, or simply closing your eyes.
Although this may seem like a simple task, it is quite important to give your eyes a break from time to time. When you are performing a near task, such as reading, your eyes have to converge, or turn inward, in order to keep the text in focus. As with any muscle in your body, your eye muscles become fatigued from having to hold a tensed position for too long. Don’t believe me? The next time you crack open a good book try holding a fist for the entire time you’re reading.