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Healthy Living: Go Play Outside: It’s Good for Your Eyeballs!

Go Play Outside: It’s Good for Your Eyeballs!

By: Dr. William Sturrock

If you are really nearsighted, you probably didn’t need reading glasses to see the recent study this past month in the journal ‘Ophthalmology’ describing twice the rates of myopia (the correct scientific term for nearsightedness) among students in wealthier, urban areas of China compared with adjoining poorer and more rural areas. In fact in Shanghai, 86% of high school students now need corrective lenses for distance sight.

"A previous study from Australia in 2008 compared ethnic Chinese students living in Singapore with those in Sydney. What they found was a 10 fold increase in myopia, from 3% of those living in Sydney going up to 30% of the same aged kids in Singapore, but it did not correlate with hours spent studying which had been the earlier hypothesis. Instead the real difference between the 2 groups were the hours spent outside, with the Sydney kids engaged in significantly more outdoor play than their Singapore counterparts. They speculated that the frequent change in the focal distances that outdoor activity requires was a good thing for the developing eye."

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