National Eye Health Week Blog – Give Your Eyes a Workout!

Sep 21, 2023

Did you know there are exercises you can do to keep your eyes feeling refreshed? Wendy, our Eye Clinic Liaison Officer in Chesterfield shares some exercises for your eyes. So why not take a break from your screen for a few minutes and give your eyes a workout?

  1. Flexing

Flexing is an eye exercise that stretches and strengthens the ocular muscles in the eye.

How to perform the flexing exercise:

  • Face forward and look straight ahead.
  • Look up without moving your head and then look down.  Do this 10 times.
  • Next look at the right without moving your head and then to the left again without moving your head.  Do this 10 times.
  1. Blinking

If you are a VDU user, blinking is a great form of exercise for the eyes to reduce eye strain.  We often forget to blink when we are staring at computer screens.  The benefits of blinking are it allows us to keep the eyes refreshed and maintain focus for longer.  All you have to do is face forward, blink every 5 seconds for the next two-minute duration.

  1. Focusing Near and Far

Focusing is another great exercise for the eye muscles.

How to perform focusing:

  • This exercise can be done standing or sitting.
  • Put your thumb in front of your face at about 10-inch distance and focus on it.
  • Now focus on something else that is in your surrounding 10 – 20 feet away.
  • Switch between near and far focusing repeatedly over a period of 2-3 minutes.
  1. Palming

Palming is a good yoga technique used to soothe the eyes.  Again, this a good eye exercise if you use computers often.  This is an exercise to relieve stress around the eye.

  • Sit on a chair and close your eyes.
  • Place your two hands over your eyes.  The palm of your hands should cover the eyes, the fingers on the forehead and the base of the palm resting on the cheekbone.
  • Do not put too much pressure on the eyes, ensure that your eyes can blink freely.
  • Do this exercise over a period of 2 minutes.

     5. Zooming

Zooming is a great eye exercise for focusing and strengthening eye muscles.

  • Sit in a comfortable position, stretch out your arm whilst raising your thumb in the hitchhiker’s position.
  • Focus on the thumb and now draw it in until the thumb is three inches away from the face.  Keep your focus on the thumb.
  • Then slowly move the thumb and forearm back to the starting position.
  • Do this exercise several times over a 2-minute duration.
  1. Figure of Eight

This is a great exercise for the flexibility of the eye muscles.  It is simple to perform.  Staring at a blank wall, imagine a large figure 8 tilted on its side 10 feet away from you.  Now trace this path of the figure 8 with your eyes without moving your head.  Do this one way for a minute and then the reverse way for a minute.

  1. Rest

Finally, always remember to give your eyes adequate rest by ensuring you get eight hours sleep.  If you are using computers, try to rest your eyes for 10 mins away from the screen for every 50 mins work.


Wendy is wearing a white shirt and is standing in front of a display of leaflets, equipment (talking clocks, canes etc). She is holding a care registration plate which reads C4N U SEE