Eye Exercises & Stretches

If you work in an environment where your eyes are likely to become strained, for example looking at a computer monitor or other eye straining project for long hours, try doing the following exercises occasionally to give your eyes, and the muscles around them a break from the tension.

Eye Comfort Exercises
  1. Blinking (produces tears to help moisten and lubricate the eyes)
  2. Yawning (produces tears to help moisten and lubricate the eyes)
  3. Expose eyes to natural light
Palming
  1. while seated, brace elbows on the desk and close to the desk edge
  2. let weight fall forward
  3. cup hands over eyes
  4. close eyes
  5. inhale slowly through nose and hold for 4 seconds
  6. continue deep breathing for 15-30 seconds
Eye Movements
  1. close eyes
  2. slowly and gently move eyes up to the ceiling, then slowly down to the floor
  3. repeat 3 times
  4. close eyes
  5. slowly and gently move eyes to the left, then slowly to the right
  6. repeat 3 times
Focus Change
  1. hold one finger a few inches away form the eye
  2. focus on the finger
  3. slowly move the finger away
  4. focus far into the distance and then back to the finger
  5. slowly bring the finger back to within a few inches of the eye
  6. focus on something more than 8 feet away
  7. repeat 3 times

For more information, please visit the Eye Care Center.

Portions of the above information has been provided with the kind permission of the National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov/).


Last Editorial Review: 6/9/2003