Are blue-light-filtering glasses really worth wearing?


Researchers have found that blue-light-filtering glasses can help improve sleep and workday productivity. — AFP Relaxnews

The global market for blue-light-filtering glasses is booming and could be worth up to US$38mil (RM157.64mil) by the end of 2026, compared to US$22mil (RM91.26mil) today. But are these glasses really worth bothering with? Recent research has shown that they can contribute to improving sleep and productivity at work.

When the global market for blue-light-filtering glasses started to take off, many people wondered just how effective they really were. What we do, however, already know is that the blue light emitted by screens is considered harmful.

In 2019, The French government agency for food, environmental and occupational health & safety (ANSES) confirmed “the toxicity of blue light on the retina and... the biological rhythm and sleep disruption associated with exposure to blue light in the evening or at night, particularly via screens and especially for children”.

The agency even evoked an “increase in the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)”.

Better quality of sleep

New research carried out by scientists at Indiana University Kelley School of Business and the University of Washington, published in the Journal Of Applied Psychology, found that blue-light-filtering glasses could improve sleep and workday productivity, particularly if worn just before going to sleep.

The researchers studied the effects of lack of sleep on business decisions, relationships and other behaviours in the workplace in order to help employees live and work better. They found that work engagement and task performance may be related to underlying biological processes such as the circadian rhythm, a natural internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours.

Two studies were used to collect data from 63 company managers and 67 call center representatives based in Brazil to measure their performance. Participants were randomly picked to test glasses that filter out blue light or placebo glasses. The researchers found that blue-light-filtering glasses could have a “cumulative effect on key performance variables, at least in the short term”.

The results raise questions about the need to limit exposure to blue light – emitted by all kinds of devices used in work environments – to help improve employee productivity and well-being. – AFP Relaxnews

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