Outdoor activity and myopia in Singapore teenage children.

Publications // Young Lab // Aug 01 2009

PubMed ID: 19211608

Author(s): Dirani M, Tong L, Gazzard G, Zhang X, Chia A, Young TL, Rose KA, Mitchell P, Saw SM. Outdoor activity and myopia in Singapore teenage children. Br J Ophthalmol. 2009 Aug;93(8):997-1000. doi: 10.1136/bjo.2008.150979. Epub 2009 Feb 11. PMID 19211608

Journal: The British Journal Of Ophthalmology, Volume 93, Issue 8, Aug 2009

AIM To investigate the relationship of outdoor activities and myopia in Singapore teenage children.

METHODS Teenage children (1249 participants), examined in the Singapore Cohort study Of Risk factors for Myopia (SCORM), during 2006 were included in analyses. Participants completed questionnaires that quantified total outdoor activity, and underwent an eye examination.

RESULTS The mean total time spent on outdoor activity was 3.24 h/day. The total outdoor activity (h/day) was significantly associated with myopia, odds ratio 0.90 (95% CI 0.84 to 0.96) (p = 0.004), after adjusting for age, gender, ethnicity, school type, books read per week, height, parental myopia, parental education and intelligence quotient. In addition, the total time spent outdoors was associated with significantly less myopic refraction (regression coefficient = 0.17; CI 0.10 to 0.25, p<0.001) and shorter axial length (regression coefficient -0.06 (CI -0.1 to -0.03, p<0.001). Total sports was also significantly negatively associated with myopia (p = 0.008) but not indoor sports (p = 0.16).

CONCLUSIONS Participants who spent more time outdoors were less likely to be myopic. Thus, outdoor activity may protect against development of myopia in children, supporting recent Australian data. As near work did not predict outdoor activity, this can be viewed as an independent factor and not merely the reciprocal of near work.