By Martin Burns
Contact lens manufacturer Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has announced a new scheme that will encourage people running this year's London Marathon to wear contact lenses on the way round.
As running in glasses can often be very uncomfortable, with the ear pieces rubbing against the side of people's heads and sweat often causing them to slide off the bridge of the nose, many runners with poor vision are put off the activity.
However, Johnson & Johnson's Acuvue brand has challenged runners and even spectators to go spectacle free this year by wearing daily disposable contact lenses and seeing if it makes a difference to their performance.
Previous studies have linked the wearing of contact lenses with improved performance among active lifestyle, which means that some 26,000 participants in the Virgin London Marathon could possibly improve their performance by wearing contacts.
Damian Conway, an optician from Norwich, who is running the marathon, told Sportsvibe it is "no secret" among runners that contact lenses can be more comfortable and convenient than glasses, as it eliminates slipping or fogging up.
What is less well known is that vision has the potential to affect performance in sport because it can impact clarity of sight, body movements such as hand-foot coordination and how people process information, the expert added.
"If contact lenses have a positive impact on a marathon runner's performance, imagine the benefits they can offer someone in day-to-day life. The Acuvue initiative is a great opportunity to experience the benefits of contact lenses first-hand," he added.
Hugh Brasher, joint race director of the Virgin London Marathon, told the site that wearing contacts could give people the chance to perform at their "absolute best" on race day.
"As a long-time 1 Day Acuvue Moist contact lens wearer, I know from experience that contact lenses can have a positive impact on performance – and I would never race without mine," he added.
by Martin Burns