Medical Study Shows That Yoga At Work Can Help To Reduce Eye Strain

Sitting in front of the computer for 8 to 12 hours can take its toll on your body. One of the most common discomforts suffered by many is eye strain. By regularly performing simple yoga exercises, you could effectively reduce the discomfort that comes with prolonged use of the computer.

Medical Study

A study conducted at a software development company in India asked almost 300 participants to enroll in the wellness program. 50% of the participants were required to include yoga practice in their daily work routine, while the remaining 50% were put on a wait list, as the control group. For the next two months, the yoga group was asked to spend 1 hour per day to attend yoga sessions for 5 days a week. On the other hand, the control group was allowed to pursue other recreational activities for the same amount of time allotted to the yoga group.

During the start of the study, all participants were asked to rate their eye strain discomfort levels. At the end of the study, the yoga groups were found to experience significantly reduced eye-strain related discomforts while the control group reported no significant changes in their eye problem. The yoga group noted improvements from the following symptoms:

  • Irritation
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Redness

Researchers reported that the significant improvement from eye strain among the yoga group was brought about by enhanced relaxation. When the human body is in a relaxed state, the eyes will instinctively blink more often, thereby reducing eyestrain.

Incorporating Yoga

If you are contemplating on performing simple yoga exercises to reduce eye strain, the study required the participants to perform the following:

  • 10 minutes of regulated breathing
  • 15 minutes yoga postures
  • 10 minutes visual exercises
  • 10 minutes joint exercises
  • 15 minutes guided relaxation

You can choose to perform a shortened version of these yoga exercises during lunch breaks, before you start work or anytime you feel the need to.

Yoga Eye Exercises

Below are the specific visual exercises that have been proven highly effective in reducing eye strain:

Shifting Gaze

Sit still and start moving your eyes by shifting your gaze to 8 different directions. Use your thumb to direct your gaze, following these directions:

  • up, down
  • up-left
  • down-left
  • up-right
  • down-right
  • rotation counter-clockwise
  • rotation clockwise

Flame Gaze

You will need a candle for this exercise. To perform, position a lighted candle at eye level. Start by focusing your eyes on the flame, without blinking. After a minute, continue gazing at the candle but start defocusing from the flame. Perform the exercise several times.

Eye Warming

While sitting on a chair, rub your hands together in order to heat up your palms. As your hands starts to warm up, close your eyes and cup both hands over the eyes. This will block out external light sources and allows the eyes to absorb the warmth from your hand. Take 10 deep, relaxing breaths and repeat the procedure as necessary.


Mahindra Raj teaches Yoga for Beginners in Kuala Lumpur and is passionate about practicing Yoga for everyday applications.


Article Sources: –

  • Effect of yoga on self-rated visual discomfort in computer users
  • Yoga Aids Computer Users
  • Yoga might reduce eyestrain

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