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Adelaide City Optometrist
Adelaide City Optometrist
127 Gilles Street
Adelaide, 5000
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Could Schoolyard Play Be The Cure For Myopia?

By 2050, half of the world are expected to be myopic (or short-sighted). Children have always been encouraged to play outdoors for good general health. But could schoolyard play be the secret behind protecting them from myopia?


According to recent studies, the answer is yes! The latest research, presented at the International Myopia Conference, showed interesting results. Playing outdoors reduced the frequency of children developing myopia. However, it also reduced the severity of myopia in children who already wore glasses for this reason.

Australian Schools Lead The Way

When it comes to outdoor play at school, Aussies do it better than numerous other countries. Australian children, aged between 10 and 12 years of age, were found to spend an average of 105 minutes per day outdoors. This is compared with Singaporean children, who average just 61 minutes daily. The major difference? Outdoor play during school hours.

This additional exposure to light not only reduces the risk of developing myopia, but also slows down its worsening in kids who are knowingly short-sighted. As myopia progresses, the eye continues to grow in length. For kids who were already myopic, studies found a 30 percent reduction in the amount of growth of the eye – this is one of the easiest forms of myopia control.

So, Is A Brightly-Lit Classroom Just As Good?

Unfortunately, no. The brightness of light is measured in lux. While unsheltered, outdoor brightness measures around 18,000 lux, indoors only measures around 400. In addition to other health benefits, it becomes clear that being inside does not compare to being outdoors in terms of myopia control.

What About Sunglasses?

What’s interesting about the studies is that while sitting in the shade outside with a hat and sunglasses, between 1,000 and 2,000 lux of brightness still reaches the eye. As we have been raised on the slip-slop-slap campaign, there’s absolutely no reason to throw away the hat and sunglasses. Time outside, even with strong sun protection, works in the prevention and curtail of myopia.

If you’re worried about your child’s myopia, or would like further information, book an appointment now.