Outdoors is good for your child's eyes!

Myopia (aka nearsightedness) has become significantly more common in children over the last few years. This phenomenon is being observed all over the world, but even more so in the areas of East and Southeast of Asia. However, researchers believe they found a way to prevent it.

Up till now there have been several studies which suggested that spending more time outdoors can be beneficial for children’s sight. And a recently published three-year-old study conducted by the researchers at the Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center in China has finally proven that hypothesis.

The researches have conducted a randomized controlled trial that involved almost 2000 first-graders (aged around 7 years old) from 12 Chinese schools. The first group was assigned to daily spend 40 additional minutes outside, while the other group continued the normal regimen.

The results of the study show that the children assigned to the group that spent additional time outdoors were less likely to develop nearsightedness over the course of the study. About 30.4% of the children in the first group have developed myopia, compared to the 40% in the second group.

Nevertheless, researchers state that the effect of spending more time outdoors on the sight may not be as significant as desired, moreover, the durability of this effect remains undefined. However it can be enough to help prevent the incidence of myopia and the further development to the high myopia. 

Besides, state the authors of the study, unlike certain medications, this approach presents no additional risk and even promotes the health and the development of the child.

More studies are needed to test the long-term effect of the approach and determine which outdoor activities could enhance the effect even further.