It’s been suspected for a while that lack of outdoor activity – for various reasons including safety fears – where you are exposed to UV light and can focus on distant objects more easily, and over-indulgence in screen time has led to an increase in the number of myopic i.e. short-sighted, children.
Almost five years ago I posted on research from Cambridge University on this topic.
Now scientists, at the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia, are predicting that half the world could be short-sighted by 2050 with 1 in 10 people suffering sever myopia.
The increase is particularly acute in Asia. 90% of teenagers and young people in China are short-sighted and in Seoul 96.5% of 19-year old men are too. In Europe and the West about half of young adults have the condition.
The scientists, reporting in the journal Opthalmology, said “Among environmental factors, so-called high pressure educational systems, especially at a very young age in countries such as Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, and China, may be a causative lifestyle change, as may the excessive use of near electronic devices”
If true the message is clear. Get off your backside, ditch the gadgets and get outside to enjoy the scenery.