Moderate exercise may lower your risk of eye disease.

We all know exercise is good for your body in many, many ways. But research is now suggesting it’s good for your eyes as well.

According to research presented at AAO 2017, the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in November, moderate to vigorous exercise may lower the risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and studies have estimated that by 2040, the number of people with the disease worldwide will be 111.8 million.

The research

Researchers from the University of California looked at data from a health and nutrition survey with information dating back to the 1960s. They found a 73 per cent reduction in the risk of developing glaucoma among the most physically active people.

The researchers measured moderate to vigorous activity in terms of steps per minute. So, 7,000 steps per day was considered equivalent to half an hour of moderate the vigorous exercise. The study found that the more a person exercised, the lower their risk of developing glaucoma got.

Lifestyle factors were once thought to not affect glaucoma. However, now research is showing that exercise may be an important component to protecting the eyes.

“Our research suggests that it is not only the act of exercising that may be associated with decreased glaucoma risk, but that people who exercise with higher speed and more steps of walking or running may even further decrease their glaucoma risk compared to people who exercise at lower speeds with less steps,” said Dr. Victoria L. Tseng, one of the study authors.

So whether you choose the treadmill or the weights, exercise looks to be an important way to keep your whole body healthy — including your eyes.


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