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2023 is off to a blustery and busy start – it’s been too windy to swim this last week so I’ve been heading to a lake, much to the disgust of the swans and coots. That early morning blast of bright light and cold water keeps my body clock on track – although as the research in the last article explains, I’d be better off going in the afternoon when my core temperature and muscle strength have ramped up a bit. But I know I’d find an excuse not to go!

Beat Digital Eye Strain

In this first week day back in the office, you may be staring at your inbox and feeling the strain. Dry, itchy eyes, blurry vision. Perhaps even a mild headache and sore neck. This review confirms the simple things I’ve found that really help Digital Eye Strain- A Comprehensive Review

1/ go to the opticians and make sure you’ve got the prescription you need

2/ do all preparation on paper to cut down the amount of time you spend on the computer – I’ve set up a separate table for writing and thinking so I have to make an active decision to move to the keyboard.

3/ set a timer to remind you to take regular breaks – just taking a couple of deep breaths, and looking out of the window will increase blink rate and blood flow to your brain (that’s called the ’20/20/20 rule 20 seconds looking at a point 20 feet away for 20 seconds). It’s also a celebrated productivity tool (the ‘pomodoro’ technique)

4/ balance the lighting to minimise extreme contrast,, reflection and glare – I have a sheer blind and angle poise lamps

5/ invest in a higher-resolution screen with anti-reflection coating. I’ve mounted mine on an arm that allows me to change the distance to suit the task in hand.

I can’t promise you’ll get to the bottom of your inbox. But your eyes will still be smiling.


Geeky I know, but I spent a lot of time over the break catching up on this brilliant series hosted by Manuel Spitschan. For fellow light lovers who might want to shift holiday kilos, this talk by the wonderful Professor Debra Skene about circadian clocks and metabolism is fascinating and timely – in more ways than one as she describes how the timing of food intake affects weight and digestion. Debra Skene: Metabolomics of human clocks, sleep and food timing (7 November 2022)

That’s a win-win-win.

The average person living in residential care goes outside for less than 3 minutes per month. The average light levels indoors fall far below the minimum standards for healthcare during the day – and routine nighttime checks leave residents sleepless and anxious. So it’s a privilege to host this panel debate with pioneering healthcare providers from around the world who are harnessing the power of bright days, warm evenings and dark nights to improve quality of life for their clients and staff: better sleep, fewer falls, better mood, less sundowning.

The investment in lighting has been paid for many times over with energy savings, streamlined night time staffing and improved occupancy rates. That’s a win-win-win. Click the link below to book your place. Innovators in Residential Healthcare

What’s the best time to get to the gym?

You may be among the millions who signed up for the gym in January.  I swim in the sea at first light every morning just to get it out of the way – I know I’ll chicken out otherwise!  But if you’re serious about getting fit and avoiding injury, the best time to work out is late afternoon.  That’s when growth hormones, muscle and cardiovascular strength, and glucose levels peak.  As this article points out, What Science Says About the Best Time of Day to Break an Olympic Record sleep is critical too. So get outside for a gentle stroll first thing and leave the heavy lifting for later. This academic review dives into the science a little more…  Time of Day and Muscle Strength: A Circadian Output?

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