Outdoor Activity Protects Against Childhood Myopia
Outdoor Activity Protects Against Childhood Myopia was the title of an important article in the May issue of JAMA Pediatrics. The head-to-toe health and healing benefits of nature have always been one of our top teachings at the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. This article shows not surprising evidence that natural sunlight is healthier for children’s developing eyes. This research from Ohio State University, College of Optometry, revealed that children who spend more time outdoors have a lower probability of developing myopia (nearsightedness). The reason at first glance seemed to be simple – if they spend more time outdoors in natural light, they spend less time indoors with artificial light. Although not yet proven, the authors believe there is a different reason. One theory is that the brighter, natural light outside stimulates the release of the pleasure hormone, dopamine, in the retina. Dopamine then regulates the normal growth of the eye, which prevents it from elongating out of proportion so that light rays from distant objects focus in front of, rather than on the retina. This study concluded that children who spend at least fourteen hours per week outdoors could lessen their risk of becoming nearsighted. Again, science continues to validate what Dr. Mom always taught: “Go outside and play!”
Dr. Bill Sears
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.