Play Outside for Healthy Eyes

Child Playing With Dog Outside

The Hidden Cost of Indoor Living

I think we all intuitively know that our children thrive when they have opportunities for outdoor play and activity.  Equally, we all worry about our children’s health when they don’t exercise and spend their days indoors focused on a screen such as a TV, computer monitor, phone, or pad.

What you may not appreciate is the link between increased indoors living and the significant deterioration in children’s eyesight. In fact, over the last 25 years, we have experienced a ‘boom’ of myopia (i.e. ‘short-sightedness’) in our kids.

Screen Time and Children’s Eye Health

Studies investigating this trend identify the substantial amount of time children now spend indoors focused on near objects – such a TV or computer screen – as the key factor.  This is a problem. Your child’s eyes need exposure to the sun-lit outdoors and opportunities to look into the middle distance to grow and develop correctly.  This is speculated to be an evolutionary echo from our hunter-gather legacy. Our ancestors spent most of our lives outdoors actively scanning and monitoring their surrounding landscape.

Myopia is not something to you should accept lightly.  Apart from the obvious disadvantages of wearing glasses, myopia significantly increases the risk that your child will experience serious eye problems in later life. These include cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment.

Even more sobering, the risk of myopia in your children is predicted to further boom in the coming years. This is a direct consequence of COVID-19 lockdowns across the world.  School closures and fears of contagion have further increased the time your children spend indoors. This in turn increases their screen time, especially where schooling has been provided digitally.

Kids Should Play Outside for Healthy Eyes!

The research highlights the need for your child to regularly spend 1-2 hours a day interacting with their outdoor environment.  Indeed, the more time your child regularly spends outdoors, the lower their chance of developing myopia.

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David

David

Dave has a highly successful background in the government, corporate, entrepreneurial, and not for profit sectors. All that aside, Dave is best known as a quiet guy with an unembarrassed love of the mountains, a passion for protecting animals, and as being a great support crew for his wife during her marathon running.

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