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Nearsightedness: Myopia Risk Reduced When Kids Play Outdoors More

Nearsightedness: Myopia Risk Reduced When Kids Play Outdoors More
Children who spend more time outdoors during the day may have a reduced rate of nearsightedness, also known as myopia. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

In this recent study, researchers focused on the vision condition that has become rather widespread in some young adults living in urban parts of East and Southeast Asia. In fact, close to 80 to 90 percent of high school graduates are reportedly nearsighted.

In this study, researchers specifically focused on six schools with children who were the average of 7 at the start of the study. The participants attended one additional 40-minute class of outdoor activities during each school day for three years and parents of the children were also encouraged to engage their children in outdoor activities following school, even on weekends and holidays. However, the other participants continued on with their usual activities.

"Our study achieved an absolute difference of 9.1 percent in the incidence rate of myopia, representing a 23 percent relative reduction in incident myopia after three years, which was less than the anticipated reduction. However, this is clinically important because small children who develop myopia early are most likely to progress to high myopia, which increases the risk of pathological myopia. Thus a delay in the onset of myopia in young children, who tend to have a higher rate of progression, could provide disproportionate long-term eye health benefits," the authors noted in a statement.

Findings revealed that the children who spent…
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