How to Perform Pencil Pushups

Pencil pushups are a workout for convergence insufficiency, or hand-eye coordination problems. A study performed by the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and published in "Optometry and Vision Science" found that patients with convergence insufficiency who were prescribed pencil pushups as treatment improved their convergence insufficiency symptoms. You can practice pencil pushups easily at home to improve your hand-eye coordination and other related sight problems.

A woman is holding a pencil in her hands. Credit: LarsHallstrom/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Hold a pencil on front of you at arm's length. The pencil should be vertical, with the tip of the sharpened pencil at the top. The pencil should be directly in front of your face, with the tip just below eye level.

Step 2

Move the pencil slowly toward your face as you concentrate and focus on the point. Soon you'll notice that you see two pencils rather than one. Stop.

Step 3

Look away from the pencil briefly to rest your eyes. Focus on something across the room for two or three seconds, and then look back at the pencil point where you've stopped it close to your face. Look at the pencil point carefully, and to try to focus so that the double vision disappears and you only see one pencil.

Step 4

Move the pencil back out to arm's length when you are able to rid yourself of double vision. If this takes more than a few seconds, look away and try again. Once you are able to accomplish it, move the pencil back out to arm's length and complete the exercise again.

Step 5

Do the pencil pushups for 10 minutes, continuing to move the pencil back and forth in front of your face. Talk to your optometrist if the treatment doesn't help your convergence insufficiency.


Do the pencil pushups at work if you don't have time at home.


Visit an optometrist to determine if you have convergence insufficiency and follow his advice as to whether pencil pushups would be of use to you.

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