Do your kids tend to prefer television or video games over playing outside? Well the results of this Australian study might prod parents to encourage their children to stay outside more than mere few minutes each day.
The said study found out that the simple lack of exposure to sunlight increased the likelihood of myopia or near-sightedness. The contrast in school children's activities was conducted between Singaporean and Australian students who are spending 30 minutes and 3 hours outdoors, respectively. Myopia was found to be up to 90% in young adults in Singapore and other East Asian countries, while only 10% in Australia, up to 40% in Britain and a very low 3% in Africa.
The researchers believe that exposure to the sun's rays stimulates dopamine production, which in turn stops the eyeball from growing elongated and distorting the focus of light entering the eye.
|Myopia by haglundc|
I am happy that Canadian schools have made it a policy to allot more time for outdoor activities, even during the winter months; and the government providing incentives for programs involving sports and physical activities, which not only prevent obesity and related lifestyle diseases, but possibly near-sightedness as well if these are done outdoors.
Now let's get our kids out of the house and play outdoors. Better yet, parents should play, exercise, walk or even just hang out with them under the sun. That's my cue to close my computer and head out...it's a lovely spring afternoon for the whole family to enjoy. Gotta go.