Do you know outdoor activities reduces shortsightedness in children?

Shortsightedness is a kind of eye focusing problem which is extensively common in today’s world. In recent times the rate of shortsightedness is increasing in a very high velocity. High percentage of young population is having shortsightedness which may lead to other kinds of retinal degeneration. Studies have found that there is a strong co-relation between the shear amount of outdoor activity and shortsightedness. It is quite widely known that children whose parents are shortsighted have a certain inclination to have the eye problem in long run and there are certain gene which influences this process. In East Asian population, there is a strong genetic contribution towards having high shortsightedness. The progression of shortsightedness is generally seen in early school days when there is more near work.  Many studies have shown that amount of time spend by children doing outdoor activities, sports dose influences long-sightedness which in a way we can reduces the chance for shortsightedness. This particular study  which is known as the Sydney myopia study which included quite a large diverse ethnicity and parents having or not having shortsightedness. It has also been seen that outdoor light is effective in controlling shortsightedness. The study is unique as the children recruited for this study had a varied background, students studying in private, public and religious schools and so they have different take on near work.  The study does show that strong day light reduces the length of the eyeball in general. They have also found that strong day light does reduces the growth of the eyeball in a period of 18 months.


(Picture source: San Jose Public Library on Flickr)

This study also evaluated the amount of shortsightedness in relation to having a comprehensive eye checkup in children and the amount of outdoor activity is measured by questionnaires given to parents. Test results in a group of seven-year-old kids do show that the male kids have less shortsightedness in the population than the female kids. These results were due to more time spend on outdoor activity is more for male kids. The association to cultural background and tradition is also a notable factor which shows European Caucasian children have a lower rate of shortsightedness as the outdoor work done by them is higher than that of Asian children.


(Picture source: James Roe on Flickr)

Parents should limit usage of computers, tablets and phones and other gaming modalities to improve children’s eye health. This action of parents to encourage outdoor activity will also control the childhood obesity in large number of young population across the globe and with improved mental health.