40 Minutes a Day Outside May Reduce Nearsightedness in Kids
As rates of nearsightedness in children continue to skyrocket in the U.S. and around the globe, researchers continue to look into ways to combat the trend. New research conducted in China has been released that further supports the theory that spending time outdoors may help slow down the development of nearsightedness, also called myopia.
A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly 40 percent of 6-year-old children who did not spend extra time outside developed myopia. In another group of kids who spent 40 additional minutes outdoors each day, researchers found only 30 percent developed myopia. Those who spent more time outside also had less severe prescriptions.
The findings seem encouraging, says Michael X. Repka, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University and clinical spokesperson for the Academy.
“Given the popular appeal of increased outdoor activities to improve the health of school-aged children in general, the potential benefit of slowing myopia development and progression by those same activities is difficult to ignore,” Dr. Repka wrote in an accompanying editorial.
This research adds to the mounting evidence that spending time outdoors – specifically UV light – can play a significant role in the healthy development of children’s eyes.
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