Today’s Headlines: Contacts, Standing and Infidelity

Contact lenses change eye bacteria, may encourage infection. While some might grimace at the idea of putting anything on their eyeballs, people have been using contacts in the place of glasses for years. But new research out this week has revealed that inserting them onto your eyes may be changing the bacteria that live there. “In the study, the surface of the eye in the people who wore contact lenses had triple the proportion of certain bacteria species, on average, compared with the people in the study who did not wear the lenses, researchers found. Moreover, the researchers found differences in the composition of the bacterial community on the surface of people’s eyes. In the people who wore contact lenses, this composition more closely resembled the bacteria on the individuals’ eyelids, as compared to the nonwearers. The study included nine people who wore contacts and 11 who did not.” While the change in bacteria isn’t necessarily harmful, the researchers point out that changing which groups live where could make the eyes more susceptible to infection and may explain why those who wear contacts end up with more eye infections than those who don’t. (Fox)

Evidence points to the need for two hours of standing. Sitting all day can damage your health in all sorts of ways. To address that, a group of health experts in the UK have put together a list of recommendations about sitting and standing time to keep people healthier. “According to the recommendation, people should aim to stand at least two hours a day during working hours. This doesn’t have to be all at once, but can be broken up into small periods of standing, pacing, fidgeting or walking—anything but sitting still. Standing for at least two hours a day is just a first step, though. The recommendation encourages a standing goal of four working hours a day, roughly half of your working life. Even if you can’t leave your desk long enough to take a walk, trips to the break room or restroom count—as does anything that breaks up a long stretch of time in a chair.” That might seem like a lot, but the researchers point out that the goal is just to get people to think about how much of their day they spend sitting. “An average office worker spends up to 75% of his or her day sitting, and more than half of that comes in long episodes of nearly inert sedentariness lasting 30 minutes or more.” (TIME)

Earning less than your partner might make you more likely to cheat. Resentment can appear from all sorts of places in a relationship, but new research published this week indicates that unequal earnings might push partners towards cheating. “After analyzing interviews with more than 2,750 married people, sociologists found that for both men and women, the more financially dependent they are on a spouse, the more likely they are to cheat on them. The research shows that in any given year there is a 5% chance that a woman who is 100% financially dependent on her husband will be cheating on him. For a man who lives off his wife’s income, however, there is a 15% chance that he will have an affair. When both halves of a couple contribute equally to the family’s total income there is less than a 4% chance that either party will be unfaithful. The research also shows that women are least likely to cheat on their husbands when they are the sole breadwinner of the family. However, men are least likely to have an affair when they bring in 70% of the income. After that, the likelihood of a man having an affair rises gradually to 4% if he makes 100% of the money.” The researchers say the findings should encourage couples to aim for equality when it comes to contributing. They say the problems lie less in who’s earning the money and more in feeling inferior to your partner. (LA Times)