Playtime Outside Assists Nearsightedness

Encouraging your children to spend more time outside could prove good not just for parents ears! Research  has suggested  increased time outdoors may reduce the risk of developing myopia.

Myopia is a  common vision problem in which objects far away appear blurred and out of focus. It can be corrected with surgery, lenses or glasses.

While a " coping" cure is easily available researchers say there is currently no method widely used to aid in reducing the risk of developing the condition or to slow down its progression.

Encouraging children to spend more time outside may be a way to help with the risk of blurry eyesight and reduce the risk of myopia.  Additional studies will need to be completed to confirm the idea.

The results are also suggesting that environmental factors, like  how long a child spends reading books or watching TV , may help explain the rising rates of myopia in certain groups.

The researchers reviewed a total of 23 existing studies on myopia in children and teenagers up to 20 years of age.

Utilising data from 7 studies that included population-wide data on the risk of nearsightedness, they have attempted to assess the  impact of spending time outdoors on the risk of myopia, finding a significant protective association between increased time spent outdoors and prevalent myopia in nearly 10,000 subjects. The increase in hours per week of time spent outdoors was linked with a 2% reduced odds of myopia forming.

A further three studies that followed subjects over a period  time showed that increasing the amount of time they spent outdoors  had slowed the progression rate of myopia.

What the studies have not been able to do is show a cause and effect, they were only observational and showed associations between the time outside and the likely risk of developing near sightedness.

  With more children spending long hours in the classroom and then relaxing in front of the PC or Box after school, its food for thought for parents.