Further research findings have supported the theory that children who spend more time outdoors have a reduced risk of developing myopia.
An academic study using a range of evidence concluded that for each additional hour spent outdoors per week, the chance of myopia dropped by approximately 2 per cent.
Dr Anthony Khawaja of the University of Cambridge presented the findings at last week's American Academy of Ophthalmology. The analysis drew from eight studies on outdoor time and myopia in children and adolescents, representing 10,400 participants.
Myopic children were found to spend on average 3.7 fewer hours per week outdoors than those who either had normal vision or were hyperopic.
'Increasing children's outdoor time could be a simple and cost-effective measure with important benefits for their vision and general health,' said Dr Khawaja. 'If we want to make clear recommendations, however, we'll need more precise data. Future, prospective studies will help us understand which factors, such as increased use of distance vision, reduced use of near vision, natural ultra-violet light exposure or physical activity, are most important.'
Dr Khawaja also presented a Chinese study of 80 myopic children aged 7-11, indicating that being outdoors and spending less time on near work stopped myopia worsening.
● In stark contrast to the findings, new research from Calcutta National Medical College has found that playing computer games can improve the sight of children with amblyopia. Dr Somen Ghosh found that 30 per cent of sufferers aged 10-18 reported 'significant vision gains' after playing at least an hour of video games per day, when combined with clinical treatment. A further 60 per cent showed some improvement.