Ian Morgan is a professor who is affiliated with both the Australian National University, Austalia, and Sun Yat-sen University, China.
As this month’s research brief points out, there is some evidence that outdoor activity may prevent or slow the development of myopia, although the exact mechanism is unclear. At ARVO 2014, Ian Morgan (Australian National University) presented the results of a three-year, school-based study demonstrating “proof of principle” that exposing children to outdoor activity can decrease the number who become myopic. The research was carried out in collaboration with Sun Yat-set University (Guangzhou, China) and the Guangzhou City Department of Education.
About the study:
Twelve primary schools in Guangzhou participated in the study. Schools in the “control” arm continued with their usual schedule of outdoor activity while children at “test” schools received an additional 45 minutes of outdoor activity per day as well as supplementary information for their parents.
Overall, children in test schools spent an extra 66.7 additional minutes outdoors per day, taking into account both in-school and outside school outdoor activity
- Families at the control schools reported an average of 61.0 minutes of outdoor activity outside of school per day
- Families at the test schools reported an average of 82.7 minutes of outdoor activity outside of school per day
The test schools had a 23.0% lower incidence of myopia over three years
- The control schools had a 39.5% incidence of myopia
- The test schools had a 30.4% incidence of myopia as well as a small but statistically significant reduction in myopic shift and statistically insignificant decrease in axial elongation
Watch the presentation below for more about this study and the effects of increased outdoor activity: Audio-visual presentation (Ian Morgan)