Navigation Links
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision

Study finds youngsters who are parked indoors more likely to develop myopia

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Kids who spend more time outside -- and away from the television set -- are less likely to develop myopia, the inability to see things clearly at a distance.

The new report, from researchers in Boston, doesn't determine whether too much indoor activity actually causes poor eyesight. And even if it does, researchers haven't pinpointed what the exact mechanism might be.

Still, "it would seem prudent to encourage outdoor activities -- not necessarily sports -- for all growing children and young adults in order to reduce the progression of myopia," said Howard C. Howland, a professor of neurobiology and behavior at Cornell University.

About a third of Americans suffer from myopia, said study author Jane Gwiazda, director of research at The New England College of Optometry. The rates are much higher in some parts of Asia.

The condition seems to be caused by both genetics and the environment, Gwiazda said. The condition is more common in people who engage in a lot of "near work" due to their jobs, she said.

The study authors gave questionnaires to the parents of 191 children who were at an average age of 13.3 years. Among other things, the researchers asked about the children's time spent using the computer, reading for pleasure and watching TV.

The children's eyesight was tested annually.

The findings were published in the January issue of Optometry and Vision Science.

The children who developed myopia -- also known as nearsightedness -- spent less time in outdoor activities, an average of 8.3 hours a week compared to 12.6 hours among the other children.

Those with myopia also watched more television (12.5 hours vs. 8.4 hours a week).

What's going on? "One possibility is that all the hours spent viewing objects at a distance rather than up close, as happens outdoors, provides a 'stop' signal to block myopia progression," Gwiazda said. "Outdoor exposure also may be beneficial, because sunlight causes the pupil to constrict, resulting in a larger depth of focus -- the range in which objects appear clear -- and less image blur that's associated with myopia development."

In other words, the eye may see more clearly outside in the sunlight and avoid developing myopia.

Looking at things farther away may be another benefit of outdoor activities. "We know a great deal about what causes myopia in animals, including primates," said Howland. "Images that are focused behind the retina cause the eye to grow in length, making the animal more myopic. Generally speaking, one can prevent animals from becoming myopic if they are provided with sufficient opportunity to see distant objects."

In popular culture, bookworms and nerds are often depicted as wearing glasses. Some studies have indeed shown a connection between heavy reading and myopia, Gwiazda said. But the new research doesn't confirm that link.

"In our study, children with more hours of outdoor activity do not necessarily spend less time reading and using computers," Gwiazda said.

More information

To learn more about myopia, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Jane Gwiazda, Ph.D., director, research, and professor, Department of Vision Science, The New England College of Optometry, Boston; Howard C. Howland, professor, neurobiology and behavior, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.; January 2009, Optometry and Vision Science

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
2. Medicare Spending Caps Cause Seniors to Stop Meds
3. United States continues to have highest level of health spending
4. Study finds drug spending caps cause some seniors to quit taking key medicines
5. Spending more for lung cancer treatment did not substantially increase patients lives
6. New Records & Information Management: Are You Spending Right on Records Management, Data Security and Compliance?
7. Big Tobacco Spends Record $12 Million to Deceive Oregon Voters
8. Bayer Temporarily Suspends Global Trasylol(R) Marketing
9. Big ticket: Youll spend more thinking about your bank account than about your wallet
10. Blunt: Democrats Flawed Spending Compromise
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Scientific Sessions in Dallas that it will receive two significant new grants to ... came as PHA marked its 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all ... brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway ... call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting ... restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... EB Medicine presented its ... Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. The awards honor the outstanding ... Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice. , “With this award, we ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Puradigm® & Innovative Solutions ... initiated cultivation and processing operations at its production facility, and opened its first ... is the manufacturer of a complete system of proactive air and surface purification ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 The Academy of ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to ... entities that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move ... of new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions ... appear on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... -- According to a new market research ... Safety Pen Needles), Needle Length (4mm, 5mm, 6mm, 8mm, ... Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - Trends & Global Forecasts to ... for the forecast period of 2016 to 2021. This ... 2021 from USD 1.65 Billion in 2016, growing at ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: