Lack of Outdoor Play Leading to Sharp Increase in Myopia Among Children

In a piece of irony you couldn't imagine if you tried, researchers in Australia have discovered that a lack of time spent playing in the great outdoors is leading to greater incidences of myopia among children, which means it's not just figuratively causing shortsightedness, but literally as well.

Of course it doesn't take much for parents and concerned adults with an inkling of what's going on in the world to recognize that most kids have lost touch with the natural world, and the broad environmental themes of today.

But I doubt there are many who could have made the connection between a lack of time spent playing outdoors and the connection with literal shortsightedness in a physical sense.

Rates of Myopia Among Children Skyrocket
Researchers have long known there is a genetic connection to the condition, but the alarming rise in rates of myopia among children over the last several decades has shown itself to be inconsistent with a genetic basis. And with the rates of myopia reaching 80% among children in some East Asian nations there's certainly incentive discover the cause and a cure.

And while playing outdoors seems to have a very real connection with a decrease in probabilities, time spent playing sports indoors did not help the situation. According to researcher Kathryn Rose, "The crucial factor was being outdoors. Time spent outdoors, as a protective factor, now appears to be the strongest environmental factor that has yet been documented."

Cool research. So tell those kids to head outside and play!

via: The Hindustan Times

Tags: Asia | Diseases | Education | Green Youth | United States

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