Child's Eyesight Linked With Outdoor Play, Study Finds

Child's Eyesight Linked With Outdoor Play, Study Finds

If you're worried about your child's vision, forget the carrots. Instead, a new study suggests you should shut off the television and head to the park.

Recent findings out of the University of Cambridge reveal a child's exposure to sunlight could improve his or her nearsighted vision, also known as myopia, reports the Telegraph.

After examining eight studies with a total of 10,400 participants on outdoor time and myopia in children and adolescents, Dr. Scherwin and his team found that the chance of myopia dropped by 2 percent for each additional hour spent outdoors per week, notes the Cambridge News.

Based on the analysis, the researchers argue that the increased exposure to ultraviolet light could be the key to improved vision.

However, the researchers found no correlation between more time spent outdoors and less time performing near work, like watching TV, reading or playing video or computer games, reports the National Journal.

"Increasing children's outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health" said Dr. Khawaja in a press statement. "If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we'll need more precise data. Future, prospective studies will help us understand which factors, such as increased use of distance vision, reduced use of near vision, natural ultra violet light exposure or physical activity, are most important."

The researchers presented their findings at the annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology on Monday.

Myopia is one of the most common eyesight problems worldwide, says WebMD. The National Eye Institute reports that about 41 percent of Americans have myopia.

Although nearsightedness is easily treated, the U.S. spends a total of $2 billion to $3 billion each year on it, reports ABC News.

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