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I Tried Eye Workouts For Better Productivity & You Won’t Believe The Results

Whether you struggle with eye strain, want better focus, or simply wish to strengthen your brain-vision connection, this visual workout plan has you covered. After completing ScreenFit, I definitely noticed upgrades to my productivity and vision performance; here, you can read about my experience and honest thoughts.

Why ScreenFit?

According to Appelbaum, your vision and brain health are intimately linked. “If one has trouble focusing their eyes, they’re going to have that much more trouble focusing their mind,” he shares on the podcast. Just think about how a day spent staring at screens can result in brain fog. “Vision problems are brain problems,” says Appelbaum, and you can mitigate both by engaging in regular visual exercises.

You may not even recognize it, but your tech places a lot of extra strain and stress on the visual system–so much so that your productivity, focus, and efficiency may start to decrease. That’s where ScreenFit comes into play, as the program can dramatically decrease those dreaded symptoms (blur, strain, dryness, etc.) so that you get more done and, most importantly, feel comfortable doing it.

Not to mention, “working out” those eye muscles helps them stay flexible with age, just like any other muscle in your body. And keeping the delicate eye muscles strong is key to preventing age-related macular degeneration down the line.

What does this mean? “With the right vision training and the right intention, you can prolong the need for reading glasses,” Appelbaum tells me over the phone. “That typically happens for most people in their 40s… Even though your body is aging, your brains and your visual systems really shouldn’t be if you’re able to maintain flexibility, stamina, and efficiency so you can access so much more of your brain.”

Essentially, ScreenFit teaches you how to use your eyes to retrain your brain. Pretty neat, no?


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My experience.

The ScreenFit program lasts for 30 days, with one 10- to 15-minute exercise each day (it’s super low-lift and easy to add to your routine). For the purposes of this article, I completed all 30 exercises in 10 days–so three per day–a “boot camp version,” if you will.

Some of the exercises require you to close one eye and exercise them one by one. After completing the very first exercise, I immediately thought, OK, wow, my right eye is seriously out of shape. It was much harder to complete the exercises on the right; I even had to take quick breaks in between. When I told Appelbaum about this imbalance, though, he wasn’t at all surprised.

“So many eye coordination problems manifest because in life we have trouble using our eyes together with all the near-visual stress from screens,” he tells me. “Very often we develop this rivalry over which eye to use, so you end up using different aspects of eyes more than others. Had you not covered your eyes and gone through those exercises, you probably wouldn’t have known that there was any difference between each eye.”

The practices themselves are pretty straightforward and easy to follow. For example, one day I was tasked with visual “pushups,” where I had to focus on one point in the distance and one point up close. With one eye covered at a time, I focused on each point for 10 seconds until they became clear.

You don’t need any special equipment, either; some exercises do require tools like a pencil, eye patch, or dry-erase marker, but you can easily make do with what you already have at home. (Instead of a patch, I used a headband.)

As for the best time of day to complete each exercise, it depends on your own motivation. It’s just like going to the gym: Some folks prefer an early morning workout, while others love an after-work sweat. According to Appelbaum, “Going through these activities after an eight- to 10-hour workday staring at a screen can make it more challenging,” but there is some benefit to giving your eyes a good stretch when they need it most.

“For most people doing ScreenFit, we’d recommend doing it in the morning before they start their day,” Appelbaum adds. I switched off between morning and evening “workouts,” and I could definitely see the benefits to both: Morning exercises helped me approach the day with more clarity, while a post-work practice helped me eliminate the blur from staring at my laptop.

The verdict.

I’m in my 20s and don’t need reading glasses (yet…), so the benefits I noticed were mainly related to eye strain, focus, and productivity. As an editor who types on her computer all day long, I struggle with some pretty gnarly blur in the evenings–I practically end the day cross-eyed. Usually, it takes me several minutes to readjust my eyes to the real world post-work, but after completing the program, I was able to retain much more clarity.

Not to mention, I noticed my right eye gaining some strength as the program went on; toward the end of my 10-day program, my right eye had even “beat” my left eye in some of the visual accuracy and speed exercises. I expect my eye coordination has become way more balanced, so my left eye doesn’t have to compensate as much, which will help maintain my eye longevity over time.

So would I recommend ScreenFit? Absolutely, whether you’re 25 or 75. (And you can score 10% off with the code MBG10.) Even though my accelerated program has ended, I still practice some of the vision exercises and stretches–I now make sure to take vision breaks every 20 minutes (the 20-20-20 rule), and that has certainly helped me avoid the blur.

As for the long-term benefits, well, we’ll have to see how long it takes until I eventually need some specs. But like most health outcomes, early intervention is key.

“So often we are reactive rather than proactive,” Appelbaum adds. “We’re waiting until our glasses have increased prescription, or we’re waiting until our productivity and efficiency drops. But if we reprime this dominant sensory system to be the one that guides and leads rather than the one that so often interferes with our world these days, vision can really unlock a lot of our potential and allow for a lot more happiness and better enjoyment in life.”


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