Workplace Wellness Insights: Eye Protection in the Summer Sun
Each month, we send out our RK Healthy Workforce wellness newsletter. In it, we provide health and wellness tips for your work and life. Here in the Northeast, we’re right in the middle of the summer, and it’s important to protect your eyes from the summer sun. While most people are aware of how the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin, the eyes are even more susceptible to harm. And, while sunglasses are common when it’s bright outside, it’s important to check UV protection levels before purchasing protective eyewear.
According to the American Optometric Association, both short- and long-term exposure to sunlight can cause damage to the eyes, including cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer of the eyelids or the eye itself.
Employees who spend even small amounts of time outdoors need eyewear that protects them not only from debris and flying objects, but also from the sun. In order to reduce sun exposure to the eyes, consider the following tips when working outdoors:
- Wear sunglasses with UV protection of more than 95%, even in cloudy weather.
- Wear sunglasses with a lens tint that blocks at least 80%, but no more than 90%, of transmissible light. A uniform tint should also be present to help with color identification.
- If possible, stay in the shade when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest, generally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to the skin around your eyelids 15 to 30 minutes before entering sunlight.
- Protect your eyes from all angles by wearing sunglasses that wrap all the way around the temples, or wear a hat with a 3-inch brim to block overhead sunlight. The frame of the sunglasses should also stay as close to your eyes as possible to prevent UV rays from entering your eyes at high or low angles.
Our monthly wellness newsletter also provides healthy recipes, seasonal tips and other valuable resources. In August, other topics include:
- Pineapple Zucchini Cake
- Your Heart Rate: Indicator for Health and Fitness
- Introducing Foods Early May Help Prevent Allergies
If you would like to receive this newsletter in your email each month, contact your R&K client manager. Also, check back with us next month for more workplace wellness insights.