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Are there studies on the correlation between the time a kid spends on studying which includes reading/writing/doing homework/using computer etc and any eyesight problems they develop?

2 Answers 2

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Yes and no. I'm not going to link the study because I can't find it right now, but the general consensus I've found when looking into this matter is that there can be some temporary strain, especially associated with computer usage (14+ hours a day) or reading in low light, but that in general it all sorts itself out after a night's sleep. I have seen no evidence to demonstrate any long term ramifications of time spent studying on eyesight.

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  • I hope that holds for adults as well.
    – kleineg
    Aug 13, 2014 at 14:27
  • That is what the studies I've seen seem to indicate. Tag me again if you want me to try and dig it up.
    – Calvin
    Aug 13, 2014 at 14:31
  • Only if you have it on hand, I would not worry otherwise.
    – kleineg
    Aug 13, 2014 at 14:45
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So there is definitely a link between time spent studying and Myopia. It looks more like correlation than causation though. The real culprit seems to be - lack of daylight exposure.

See this article in this week's Economist.

Quoting from the article:

Excerpt 1:

A study of Inuit in Alaska, published in 1969, found that myopia was virtually unknown in those middle-aged or older, but that rates were above 50% in older children and young adults. Such a change is much too fast to be purely genetic, and it had happened just as the study participants had begun to adopt a more settled, Westernised way of life. But the results went against the dogma of the day, says Dr Morgan, and were ignored.

Excerpt 2:

And an intriguing study on orthodox Jewish children in Israel, in the 1990s, confirmed the link with long school hours. It showed that boys—who receive intensive religious education in addition to the normal curriculum—were more myopic than their sisters, who do not.

Excerpt 3:

Instead, the dominant hypothesis now is that exposure to daylight is the main variable. A study of Californian children, published in 2007, found that time spent outdoors was strongly associated with a lower risk of myopia. Another paper, published the following year by Drs Rose and Morgan and their colleagues, followed more than 4,000 children in Sydney for three years and came to a similar conclusion. The type of activity—sports, walking, picnics—did not seem to matter. Simply being outdoors was the crucial point. The researchers cross-checked the close-work hypothesis and found that being outside drastically reduced the risk of short-sightedness, even for children that did a lot of it.

Excerpt 4:

Human trials, too, confirm the theory. One of the biggest, led by Pei-Chang Wu of the Chang Gung University College of Medicine, in Taiwan, was published in 2020. It reported results from millions of Taiwanese primary-school pupils who had gone through the school system between 2001 and 2015. In 2010 the government instituted a programme called “Tian-Tian Outdoor 120”, which encouraged schools to take pupils outside for two hours a day. After it was implemented, rates of myopia fell, slowly but steadily, from 49.4% in 2012 to 46.1% in 2015—reversing a decades-long trend of rising rates.

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