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Influence of holding weights of different magnitudes on intraocular pressure and anterior eye biometrics

  • Glaucoma
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This study is aimed at determining the impact of holding weight corresponding to the 10% and 20% of participants’ body weight during 5-min on intraocular pressure (IOP) and anterior eye biometrics.


Eighteen healthy young adults grabbed two jugs with comfort-grip handles, which were filled with water in order to achieve the desirable load (10% and 20% of participants’ body weight). A rebound tonometer and Oculus Pentacam were used to assess IOP and anterior segment biometrics, respectively, at baseline, after 0.5, 2, 3.5, and 5 min of holding weights, as well as after 0.5 and 2 min of recovery in each experimental condition (control, 10%, and 20%).


There was a significant effect of the load used on IOP (p = 0.016, ƞp2 = 0.215) and anterior chamber angle (p = 0.018, ƞp2 = 0.211), with the load corresponding to 20% of participants’ body weight promoting a significant IOP rise (corrected p value = 0.035, d = 0.67), and anterior chamber angle reduction (corrected p value = 0.029, d = 0.69) in comparison with the control condition. No effects of holding weight were observed for anterior chamber depth and central corneal thickness (p > 0.348).


Our data evidence that holding weight during 5 min increases IOP and narrows the anterior chamber angle, being these effects significant when using a load corresponding to 20% of body weight. Based on the current outcomes, lifting or carrying heavy loads may be discouraged for glaucoma patients or individuals at high risk for glaucoma onset, although future studies should explore the clinical relevance of our findings.

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The authors thank all the participants who selflessly collaborated in this research, and to OCULUS Iberia S.L. (Madrid, Spain) for donating the Pentacam system used in this study.

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Correspondence to Beatríz Redondo.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University of Granada and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Vera, J., Redondo, B., Molina, R. et al. Influence of holding weights of different magnitudes on intraocular pressure and anterior eye biometrics. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 257, 2233–2238 (2019).

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