Reclaim comfort now with 20-20-20 Rule for Eye strain

Eye strain is nowadays a common problem as the use of digital devices has increased. Mobiles, tablets, TVs, and computer screens contribute to your eye strain. This eye strain can be reduced using a simple trick known as the “20-20-20 rule for eye health”. The 20-20 rule is a very simple eye rule that helps reduce eye strain.

In this article, we will explain what this eye rule is about, how to follow the rule, and the benefits of following the rule for better health of our eyes.

This article is divided into below sections. 

  • What is the 20 20 20 rule for Eye health?
  • How the 20 20 20 rule works to reduce Digital Eye Strain?
    • Why for every 20 minutes?
    • Why look at something 20 feet away?
    • Why look for 20 seconds?
  • Tips for applying this Eye rule in practice
  • Few more tips for healthy eyes
  • Conclusion

What is the 20-20-20 rule for Eye health?

The 20-20-20 rule for eye health is a simple guideline to reduce eye strain and promote eye health. 

This is especially true when using digital devices for extended periods. Let’s see the formal definition of 20-20-20 rule as below.

“Take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes of screen time”.

This eye rule is simple to understand and simple to be followed regularly. You can do this from the comfort of your chair or the room. 

So, the results are known to be positive and acknowledged to be really helpful in reducing Digital Eye Strain (DES).

Let’s now understand how the rule really works to reduce eye strain.

How does the 20-20-20 rule work to reduce Digital Eye Strain?

There is research behind taking the 20 as a digit in this rule. It’s a widely accepted rule by major optometry organizations around the globe. The numerical formula of 20 has been the result of the search.

Let’s dive deep and understand the reasoning behind each 20 in the formula.

Why for every 20 minutes?

When we sit for long in one place, we tend to blink our eyes less frequently as compared to when we are engaged in any physical activity. In addition, our brain is in action and super active as we are actively looking at the screen. 

For example, if you writing an email you must be thinking about the text content to write, you might be taking care of having no spelling mistakes. All these actions put a strain on your eyes (and also the brain). You need a break from this continuous engaging activity. But how often do you need to take a break?

In order to have productive work and also keep your eye strain under control, research suggests the break after every 20 minutes. 

One potential reason for setting the frequency to 20 minutes is to simplify the rule for easy memorization. Using intervals of 5, 10, or 15 might be more challenging for newcomers to remember.

Timeout is 20 minutes. After every 20 minutes, take a break.

Why look at something 20 feet away?

Now, you have worked looking at the screen for about 20 minutes. The screen is closer to you. Your eye muscles work towards maintaining focus and alignment. When working for about 20 minutes, the eyes get to start fatiguing because that’s not the normal state for eye muscles to be in. Now, in order to readjust the eye muscles back to normal, you need to look far i.e. at least 20 feet.

Look for, at least 20 feet away to set the eye muscles back to normal.

Why look for 20 seconds?

It takes a minimum of 20 seconds for eye muscles to relax and get out of that stressed condition. So, in those 20 seconds, do not look at the screen at all.

However, the 20 seconds is not a strict requirement but a practical suggestion that is backed by a research.

It takes minimum 20 seconds for Eye muscles to get relax

Tips for applying 20-20-20 rule in practice

The rule is pretty simple to follow. There are no extra things or devices you will need so as to follow this simple eye rule. 

However, what you need is your time, and your perseverance to make it happen.

  • Set a timer or use apps to remind you to take breaks every 20 minutes. 
  • During the 20-minute timeout, get up from your place and have a short stroll. Your eyes will start seeing different colors, and objects with varied light exposure. This will help your eye muscles get back to normal.
  • Blink your eyes several times during the break so that your brain will start adopting this activity.

Few more tips for healthy eyes

  • Adjust screen settings to reduce glare and blue light. 
  • Ensure your screen is at eye level and an appropriate distance from your eyes. 
  • Practice good posture to reduce neck and back strain.


The 20-20-20 eye rule is a simple yet effective way to maintain eye health in the digital age. 

By incorporating this practice into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the strain on your eyes and enjoy more comfortable and productive screen time.

4 thoughts on “Reclaim comfort now with 20-20-20 Rule for Eye strain”

  1. Shruti Chitmalwar

    Thank you for such a helpful information 🙌🏻.
    I will try it daily to improve and protect my eyes

  2. Dr Rani bhandare

    Nice article and expressed well ,sir! Eye strain is very common issue we face nowadays. 20-20-20 is Very simple but effective mode to get relief from eye strain.

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