Outdoor activity reduces the risk of childhood near/short sightedness

In May 2019 researchers from the USA published their review on the cause of near/short sightedness in childhood. Today’s popular press is filled with reports of children’s digital device use and of parents’ concerns about learning, social development, obesity, and orthopaedic problems, etc. Although worries about eye strain may not be part of the general conversation, it may well be at the back of parents’ minds when asking paediatricians about creating a healthy media environment for their family. Regarding the risk for the development and progression of near/short sightedness in childhood, research has indicated that it may not be the use of digital devices that is the problem but instead society’s shift to indoor activities whilst using these devices which may be affecting children’s eyes and leading to the global increase in the incidence of near/short sightedness.

Zadnik K, Mutti DO. Outdoor Activity Protects Against Childhood Myopia—Let the Sun Shine In. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(5):415-416.

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