Myopia on the Rise: How to Get Your Child to Spend More Time Outdoors

Myopia, commonly known as shortsightedness, is becoming increasingly prevalent among children in Australia. Statistics show that myopia rates are on the rise, reflecting a concerning trend observed globally. This article discusses the surge in myopia cases and provides practical tips to encourage children to spend more time outdoors, a simple yet effective way to combat this vision problem.

The Rising Trend of Myopia

Myopia is an eye condition where distant objects appear blurry while close-up objects remain clear. Research indicates that excessive near work activities, such as reading, studying, and screen time, coupled with insufficient outdoor time, can contribute to the development and progression of myopia. The increasing use of digital devices and changing lifestyle patterns have been linked to the surge in myopia cases among children in Australia.

The Importance of Outdoor Time

Studies have shown that spending more time outdoors can be beneficial for children’s eye health. Natural light and exposure to distant views help prevent the progression of myopia. Outdoor activities encourage the eye to focus on objects at varying distances, reducing the strain on the eyes caused by prolonged near work.

Practical Tips to Encourage Outdoor Time

  1. Limit Screen Time: Set reasonable limits on your child’s screen time, whether it’s for watching TV, using smartphones, or playing video games. Encourage non-screen activities such as beading or puzzles.
  2. Incorporate Outdoor Play: Encourage outdoor playtime, such as cycling, playing sports, or exploring nature. Join them in these activities to make it a fun family experience.
  3. Make Outdoor Time Fun: Organize outings to parks, nature trails, or playgrounds. Engaging in enjoyable outdoor activities will make your child more eager to spend time outside.
  4. Combine Learning with Nature: Take educational trips to museums, zoos, or botanical gardens to foster a love for learning in an outdoor setting.
  5. Use Outdoor Time as a Reward: Offer outdoor activities as rewards for completing chores or academic tasks. This positive reinforcement can motivate children to spend more time outdoors.


With myopia rates on the rise globally, it’s crucial for parents to safeguard their children’s eye health. Encouraging outdoor activities can help reduce the risk of myopia while promoting overall well-being. Balancing screen time with outdoor playtime can maintain healthy vision. If you observe signs of myopia like eye squinting or close-distance work, schedule an eye test for your child promptly.

An Asian boy holding a contact lens on one finger and looking like he is listening to instructions