Glasses May Boost Productivity for Rural Workers

Source: Reuters Health

Providing reading glasses may be an inexpensive way to improve productivity, as well as earnings and quality of life, among workers in developing countries, suggests a clinical trial involving tea pickers in India, according to a Reuters Health report.

Approximately 700 tea workers in Assam, India, who received an eye exam and were fitted with glasses for age-related decline in near vision (presbyopia) experienced a nearly 22 percent improvement in their productivity relative to coworkers who did not get glasses, researchers found.

Glasses allowed the workers randomly assigned to receive them – mostly women and all aged 40 years and older – to go from plucking 25 kg of tea leaves per day at baseline to 34.8 kg per day during a three-month evaluation period that coincided with harvest season. People in the intervention group averaged 5.25 kg more tea leaves daily than the comparison group of similar workers, who went from plucking 26 kg per day to 30.6 kg during the same period.

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