(HealthDay News) – Increasing time spent outdoors may reduce the development or progression of myopia in children and adolescents, according to a study published online July 20 in Ophthalmology.

Justin C Sherwin, MBBS, MPhil, from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a review of 23 studies and then conducted a meta-analysis using data from seven cross-sectional studies.

After adjusting for covariates, the researchers observed a significant 2% reduction in the odds of myopia per additional hour of time spent outdoors per week (odds ratio, 0.981; 95% confidence interval, 0.973–0.99), or an odds ratio of 0.87 for an additional hour of time spent outdoors each day. Data from three prospective cohort studies could not be pooled but provided estimates of risk of incident myopia according to time spent outdoors. Additionally, three studies (two prospective cohort and one randomized controlled trial) investigated time spent outdoors and myopic progression and found that increasing time spent outdoors significantly reduced myopic progression.

“The overall findings indicate that increasing time spent outdoors may be a simple strategy by which to reduce the risk of developing myopia and its progression in children and adolescents,” the authors write.

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