Protect Your Eyes With Exercise!

The health benefits of exercise are extremely well-known — from improving cardiovascular function to reducing one’s risk of diabetes. Yet it looks like not everyone is familiar with the benefits of exercise to optimum eye health. Although the number of studies describing the role of physical activity in preventing vision loss and eye problems are not as numerous than the studies supporting the relationship between exercise and excellent overall health, there is actually solid evidence supporting the former.

Effect of Exercise on Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Cataract

One of the conclusions of this 2010 study by the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Wisconsin, Madison was:

“women in the highest quintile compared with those in the lowest quintile for physical activity (in metabolic energy task hours per week) had 54% lower odds for early AMD.”

Apart from physical activity, other factors that were considered by the researchers to reduce one’s risk of AMD were consuming a balanced diet and not smoking.

Meanwhile, one of the conclusions of the Beaver Dam Study which run for 15 years was

“increased walking of more than 12 blocks daily decreased the incidence of exudative AMD by 30% over 15 years.”

On the other hand, the researchers of this study found out that both vigorous running and moderate walking can actually reduce the risk of cataract.


Apart from AMD and cataract, glaucoma may also benefit from exercise as it can reduce IOP (intraocular pressure) and improve blood flow to the optic nerve and retina at the same time.

There you have it! You don’t have to actually do marathons or enroll in a Crossfit class to reduce your risk of AMD, cataract or glaucoma. As mentioned in one of the conclusions, walking alone can already do wonders!

If you’d like to learn more about protecting your eyes through physical activity, call (907) 328-2920 or fill out this contact form to set up an appointment with us. We look forward to helping you improve your vision and consequently make your life better!


Posted in: Cataract, Eye Health Guide, Eye Health Research, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration

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