Out­door Time Eyed as Healthy for Kids

Reader's Digest (India) - - Rd Health - BY E.R. KING

It’s no sur­prise that ac­tive play out­side is an im­por­tant way chil­dren get healthy ex­er­cise. But there may be another health ben­e­fit: im­proved eye­sight.

Two sep­a­rate stud­ies of young peo­ple seem to con­firm that time in the sun­shine may help chil­dren see bet­ter for longer. School­child­ren in Tai­wan who got 6.7 hours of out­side re­cess weekly were less likely to de­velop near­sight­ed­ness, also known as my­opia, af­ter a year than kids who had the usual amount of 3.3 hours of out­side re­cess a week. (Non-re­cess time was roughly the same be­tween the two groups.) In a sep­a­rate study, Dan­ish re­searchers linked the longer sum­mer hours of day­light there to re­duced de­vel­op­ment of my­opia in kids.

Both find­ings are prob­a­bly due to the size and shape the eye takes in re­sponse to fre­quent ex­po­sure to day­light. But time spent out­side may also pro­vide young peo­ple’s eyes a break from hours of close read­ing that could cause my­opia to de­velop sooner.

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