Is Screen Time Harming Children's Eyes?

Nearsightedness is increasing at an alarming rate. Spending more time outdoors could play a key role in reversing the trend.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Number you won’t forget

  • Get the kids outside

  • Less soreness, more recovery

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Number You Won’t Forget: 6 Minutes

The next time you can’t get your brain to slow down and too many thoughts are racing through your mind, grab a book and read a chapter. 

Research suggests that just 6 minutes of reading could reduce stress by up to 60 percent. 

Reading calms your entire body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure and slowing down your respiratory rate. Consider it the ultimate chill pill. 

Another study compared reading to yoga and found that reading for 30 minutes lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and psychological distress just as much as 30 minutes of yoga. 

The next time you’re overwhelmed or having trouble sleeping, pull out a book and read a few pages. It will likely make a difference. 

Get The Kids Outside

Arnold warns adults about spending too much time on their machines (phones, devices), but it might be time to apply the same rule to children. 

Research suggests that myopia — also known as nearsightedness — is increasing at a rapid rate among children (and adults). Some projections indicate that we are on pace for 50 percent of the global population to need corrective lenses within the next twenty-five years. 

The increase in screen time is part of the problem, but the bigger issue might be how much time children now spend indoors. Research suggests that kids who don’t spend much time outdoors are four times more likely to develop myopia. It’s estimated that each hour you spend outside reduces your risk of myopia by 2 percent. 

It’s simply a matter of eye development. Humans are born mostly farsighted, but as we develop, our retinas are shaped by the light we get into our eyes, which adjusts the shape of our eyes and allows for close and distant vision. If you don’t get enough light, it can affect how the shape of your eyes evolves during maturation, changing how light rays from what you look at converge in your retina. In other words, natural light is essential in developing your eyes for overall vision. 

Controlling screen time is helpful, but the key is ensuring children get outdoors more often. And if you’re worried about your own eyes, follow the 20-20-20 rule when you’ve been looking at your computer or phone for too long: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look about 20 feet away.

On Our Radar: Less Soreness, More Recovery

If your workouts leave you extra sore, tapping into your body’s natural antioxidant production might be the extra boost you need. 

A new study found that coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) might help you bounce back quicker from your hardest workouts. 

This research caught our eye because it reviewed 28 randomized controlled trials (the gold standard for research). The studies found that Co-Q10 significantly improved three different biomarkers of muscle damage. 

Co-Q10 is a molecule found in your mitochondria, which helps provide the energy to power the cells in your body. Your body naturally produces Co-Q10, and research suggests that supplemented Co-Q10 could help fuel your natural antioxidant production. This might be why it helps reduce muscle damage and inflammation.

Remember, supplements don’t replace the foundations of recovery, such as good nutrition, hydration, movement, and sleep. So, focus on those first before experimenting with supplementation. In the study, participants saw benefits from taking anywhere from 100 to 300 mg of Co-Q10 per day, and in some cases, saw results by taking for up to 12 weeks.

That’s it for this week. Thank you for being a part of the positive corner of the internet, and we hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell