Deakin University

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Acute Effects of Resistance Exercise on Intraocular Pressure in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review

journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-07, 04:21 authored by DA Hackett, J Li, B Wang, Kim WayKim Way, T Cross, DL Tran
Abstract Hackett, DA, Li, J, Wang, B, Way, KL, Cross, T, and Tran, DL. Acute effects of resistance exercise on intraocular pressure in healthy adults: A systematic review. J Strength Cond Res 38(2): 394–404, 2024—Intraocular pressure (IOP) tends to fluctuate during a resistance exercise (RE). This systematic review examines the acute effects of RE on IOP in healthy adults and factors that influence changes in IOP. Five electronic databases were searched using terms related to RE and IOP. A strict inclusion criterion was applied, which included being 55 years or younger with no medical conditions and RE intensity needing to be quantifiable (e.g., based on a maximal effort). Thirty-four studies met the inclusion criteria for this review. Isometric and isotonic contractions produced similar changes in IOP during RE up to 28.7 mm Hg. Exercises that involved larger muscle mass, such as squats and leg press, were found to produce changes in IOP during exercise ranging from 3.1 to 28.7 mm Hg. Smaller changes in IOP during RE were found for exercises engaging less muscle mass (e.g., handgrip and bicep curls). Intraocular pressure was found to increase during RE when lifting heavier loads and with longer exercise durations (e.g., greater repetitions). The Valsalva maneuver (VM) and breath-hold during RE accentuated the change in IOP, with more extreme changes observed with the VM. However, most studies showed that postexercise IOP returned to baseline after approximately 1 minute of recovery. An acute increase in IOP is observed during RE in healthy adults with fluctuations of varying magnitude. Factors that independently increase IOP during RE include exercises involving larger muscle mass, heavy loads, greater set duration, and when the VM or breath-hold is performed.



Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research






Philadelphia, Pa.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal




Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins