The positive effects of outdoor time on kids
Updated February 27, 2020
Parents know that outdoor time is good for kids–studies show outdoor movement helps in many areas of childhood development. A recent analysis of 23 clinical studies confirms outdoor time helps children’s vision as well. Getting kids outdoors more is proven to be the most beneficial thing we can do to prevent or delay the onset of myopia (blurry distance vision). You can view the summary of these 23 studies here on the National Institutes of Health website.
Outdoor time matters
Numerous studies show outdoor time can delay or even stop the development of myopia in kids, but the exact mechanism is unknown. Hypothesis range from kids spending more time outdoors spend less time on screens, to an impact from sunlight and Vitamin D. Given 50% of the world is projected to be myopic by 2050, this is an area of ongoing research. If we can better understand why outdoor time has a protective effect, new strategies and treatments can be developed to help kids. Myopia is more than a visual inconvenience. Higher rates of myopia are associated with significantly increased risks of serious eye diseases later in life.
Parents can take action now
Encourage outdoor play for your child year round to benefit them in numerous ways. If your child does become myopic, new treatments can slow or even stop the progression of myopia. Early intervention is key, as these treatments are most effective when started early. Our Myopia Resource Center keeps up with the latest information about myopia, and use our Make An Appointment feature to find a Treehouse Eyes provider in your area.