Get Out For Better Eyesight!

Photo Credit: iStock

Running is good for your eyes!

Another great reason to encourage kids to get outside!

Children are less likely to be myopic if they spend at least two hours outside every day, as outdoor activities allow children to both relax and strengthen their eyes, the Taiwanese Ministry of Education has announced.

This has been noted before: researchers led by Dr. Cathy Williams, from the University of Bristol, and Dr. Jez Guggenheim, from the University of Cardiff, found that children who spent more time outdoors during the ages of 8 and 9 were less likely to become short-sighted by the age of 15.

According to a government survey in Taiwan, 21.5 percent of first-grade students in Taiwan were short-sighted, with the figure reaching 65.8 percent among sixth graders.

Wang Chun-chuan, head of the ministry's Department of Physical Education, said Taiwanese students' lack of outdoor activities was one reason for the situation.

They spend more time doing activities such as reading books, doing homework and looking at the blackboard in class than their counterparts abroad, Wang said.

In the past, the ministry used to promote eye exercises to avoid the risk of myopia among children, but the campaign was not particularly effective because most students opted to stay in their classrooms during breaks between classes, Wang noted.

The theory is that by spending a combined two hours doing outdoor activities and looking at distant objects, children will be able to relax their eyes efficiently and reduce the risk of being short-sighted.

Let's go!

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