Playing outside, like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or balls, is beneficial for children regardless of the weather. There is solid proof that playing outside promotes physical and mental health. And the most important thing of all, children of all ages enjoy it!
Outdoor activity is claimed to reduce the chance of ever getting myopia. Increased time spent outside is useful in both reducing the formation of myopia and decreasing the myopic shift in refractive error.
Visible light from the sun is far brighter than practically any interior light, which may be an important factor in reducing myopia. According to some researchers, the sun’s brightness stimulates the retina to release dopamine, which is believed to slow the elongation of the eye. Myopia in kids who spend at least 2-3 hours playing outdoor are reduced by half and progress less rapidly than kids who spend practically all of their time inside1.
Myopia is worsened by prolonged close-up activity like smartphones, tablets, gaming, homework and other near focus activities. On the other hand, being outside encourages your child to pay attention to distant objects, such as trees, basketball hoops, skies, or anything else that is farther away than an arm’s length. Spending time outside also enables a child’s vision to shift from nearby to distant objects. The eyes can relax due to this frequent shifting of focus.
Additionally, spending more time in the sun increases the amount of vitamin-d produced. The study showed that myopia is associated with lower vitamin d concentration in young adults2.
For kids older than six, it is recommended that they spend at least two hours each day playing outside. Don’t forget to safeguard your little one’s eyesight with a good pair of sunglasses.
Make an appointment with A Matter of Sight today to find out if myopia control is a good option for your child.
1: Cathryn A. Rose, G. Morgan, Jenny Ip, et al. Outdoor Activity Reduces the Prevalence of Myopia in Children. Ophthalmology Volume 115, Number 8, August 2008.
2: Yazar S, Hewitt AW, Black LJ, McKnight CM, Mountain JA, Sherwin JC, Oddy WH, Coroneo MT, Lucas RM, Mackey DA. Myopia is associated with lower vitamin D status in young adults. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2014 Jun 26;55(7):4552-9.