Why are so many children myopic in China?!

Abstract: Chinese students usually take a nap after lunch instead of playing outside, and then go home to do more homework than anywhere outside East Asia. The older Chinese children are, the longer they stay indoors, but it is not because of air pollution. The biggest factor of

myopia is the lack of outdoor activity time. Sunlight exposure helps the retina release a chemical that slows the increase in axial length, which is the most common cause of myopia. The lack of outdoor activities in

and

, coupled with a large number of close-up operations such as writing and reading, will worsen the problem. But if children have enough time for outdoor activities, they can learn what they like and their eyesight should not be affected.

however, China and other East Asian countries do not pay attention to outdoor activities. The myopia rates of 6-year-old children in China and Australia are similar. As soon as they enter school, Chinese children spend about one hour a day outdoors, while Australian children spend three to four hours a day outdoors.

Chinese students usually take a nap after lunch instead of playing outside, and then go home to do more homework than anywhere outside East Asia. The older Chinese children are, the longer they stay indoors, but it is not because of air pollution.

because myopia is related to higher income and more education, myopia is not very common in rural areas of China. According to the national health and Family Planning Commission, one third of rural primary school students are nearsighted, while nearly half of urban primary school students are nearsighted. The rural education action project of Stanford University found that nearly one sixth of rural myopia children do not wear glasses, given the cost, poor eye care and the belief that wearing glasses will aggravate myopia.

improving children’s vision has a greater impact on educational achievement than improving nutrition or teaching quality. Another study reported that providing students with free glasses was as effective as a year of extra education in improving test scores.