The relationship between sedentary behavior and dry eye disease

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A paper titled “The relationship between sedentary behavior and dry eye disease” was recently published in the Ocular Surface journal. The summary of the paper and citation details are re-posted below. The full publication can be found here.


Sedentary behavior (SB) has been linked with low-grade systemic inflammation, which could play a role in the development of dry eye disease (DED). This cross-sectional study aims to investigate the association between SB and DED.

We assessed 48,418 participants from the population-based Lifelines cohort (58% female, 18–96 years). Women’s Health Study (WHS)-defined DED was the primary outcome. SB was assessed using the Marshall Sitting Questionnaire. The relationship between DED and SB was analyzed using logistic regressions, corrected for age, sex, BMI, smoking status, demographics, and 48 comorbidities. Any potential modifying effect of physical activity (PA) was also assessed, and the analyses were repeated excluding the most computer-intensive domains, investigating SB independent from screen exposure.

WHS-defined DED was present in 9.1% of participants. Greater SB was associated with an increased risk of DED (odds ratio (OR) 1.015 per hour/day, 95%CI 1.005–1.024, P = 0.004). The association between SB and DED was only significant for those with less than WHO-recommended PA (OR 1.022, 95%CI 1.002–1.042, P = 0.027), and not in participants meeting WHO’s recommendation (OR 1.011, 95%CI 0.999–1.023, P = 0.076). Lastly, when excluding computer-related sitting, the relationship between SB and DED was attenuated, and no longer significant (OR 1.009, 95%CI 0.996–1.023, P = 0.19).

Greater sedentary time was tied to an increased risk of DED, especially for those with lower PA levels than WHO recommendations. However, as there was no significant association when computer-intensive sitting time was excluded, screen use could explain the observed relationship and should be noted as a possible key confounder.


Nguyen, L., Magno, M. S., Utheim, T. P., Hammond, C. J., & Vehof, J. (2023). The relationship between sedentary behavior and dry eye disease. The Ocular Surface, 28, 11–17.

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