The Achilles' heel of modern lifestyles
Its estimated that roughly 40% of the US population lives a sedentary lifestyle, which is defined as not participating at all in any physical activity in leisure time. This figure strikes an alarming bell, but one could argue that this specific definition unnecessarily counts in more people than it should. Which ever the case, all of us probably know a lot of people who spend most of the working time behind a desk and computer, and their remaining free time on the couch in front of the TV.
A recent study demonstrated that adults spend 1700 hours a year in front of the computer. That's the equivalent of 70 days. As one can imagine, this way of lifestyle can have a negative impact on our health. Two areas likely to be impacted are eye and joint health.
Your eyes are at work in overhaul when sitting in front of the computer, as they're exposed to blue light from LED screens, reacting to rapidly appearing stimuli such as changing text or tv characters appearing on screen, and at risk of discomfort due to long periods on screen and lack of breaks.
Aside from practical measures to protect your eyes like the 20-20-20 method (20 sec break every 20 min while looking at something else than a computer 20 feet away), one can also provide the necessary supplementation for the eyes. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are among some known nutrients that a critical in maintaining eye health and aiding in prevention of chronic eye disorders such as macular degeneration or cataract development. Carotenoids including Beta-Carotene, have demonstrated protective benefits from blue light and exhibit antioxidative properties in preventing inflammation in the eye.
Carotenoids are also quite effective in reducing inflammation throughout the rest of the body, including muscles and joints, by preventing the build up of oxidative agents (see our previous post of oxidative stress).