Digital downtime and downward dogs

Sarah King practising yoga on the beach in Margate

ABDO member Sarah King is making the most of her time on furlough by looking at ways to continue serving the profession and public.

“Eyecare practitioners knows only too well the effects that over-exposure to digital screens – and a lack of outdoor sunlight – can have on our ocular and general health and wellbeing,” Sarah tells DO Online. “However, due to lockdown we currently have little option but to engage more in a digital way.”

Sarah began her career in optics in 2000 working for Vision Express, before qualifying as a dispensing optician in 2003 from City University. She spent her early career working in busy High Street multiples before moving to an independent practice. There she worked under Professor Bruce Evans, seeing patients with complex eye health needs.

“Offering patients enhanced support through colorimetry, myopia control and dry eye clinics inspired me to learn more about health and the visual system,” she says.

Sarah moved into a management role in 2014 when she joined Linklater Warren in Kent, where she enjoyed the teaching and training aspects of her role. “I have also been privileged to recently work at Burnett Hodd & Tam Optometrists in London – a practice at the forefront of technology, dispensing to patients from all over the world with demanding visual needs.”

Sarah currently freelances part-time whilst developing her wellness company – Balanced Body Wellness. “Whilst I have enjoyed focusing my health knowledge on the visual system for the last 20 years, I realised that learning more about the body as a whole would help me live a healthier life. So in 2014, I studied anatomy, physiology and pathology and in 2018, took a 200-hour yoga teacher training course.”

In the same year, Sarah relocated to Margate on the east Kent coast. “I now understand on a deep level how important it is to move the body every day if you want to stay mobile into later life,” she continues. “And I also now have the science to apply to focusing yoga on the eyes and visual system.”

During lockdown, Sarah’s been enjoying teaching her family and friends yoga via Zoom, and reaching the wider public who may not usually be able to attend her classes in person..

“I’ve devised 20-minute digital downtime sessions to make the public aware of the issue of overusing their ocular system,” she explains, “and give them tools, advice and strategies on how to mitigate the potential damage.

“I’m really passionate about offering this service to as many people as I can, so am inviting fellow ABDO members, other practice staff and anyone else who wishes to join in. While I would normally charge for the sessions, all I ask during the present difficult financial times is for a donation via Paypal if possible.”

Find out more about Sarah’s company and yoga sessions at