Want to Boost Your Eye Health? Get Some Fresh Air

There are a number of reasons to spend more time outdoors, such as getting more physical activity for your body. If a 2015 Chinese study is correct, your eyes might benefit from some outdoor time as well.

School’s Out!.. For a Little

This study focused on a total of twelve schools in mainland China. Of this group, the students of six schools were assigned an extra 40 minutes of time outdoors; the remaining schoolchildren carried on as normal. Three years later, the authors examined the eye health of nearly 2,000 students participating in the study. Those assigned the additional physical activity were over 20% less likely to develop myopia than students in the indoors group. The Journal of the American Medical Association featured the study online in September 2015.

An Exercise Plan for the Eyes

The study was paired with an editorial from Dr. Michael Repka, a faculty member of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. “Future studies should include information about the content of the additional outdoor activity, if the activity could be standardized, and how it differs from other studies,” wrote Repka. “Establishing the long-term effect of additional outdoor activities on the development and progression of myopia is particularly important because the intervention is essentially free and may have other health benefits.”

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