The relationship between myopia and near work, time outdoors and socioeconomic status in children and adolescents

A part of the LIFE Child study, researchers aimed to investigate environmental and social risk factors for myopia in children and adolescents in Germany. 1437 participants aged 3 to 18 in Leipzig were examined, with information about leisure time activities and social status obtained from parents and children via questionnaires. Myopia was significantly associated with less frequent outdoor activity and longer near work sessions. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that myopia was linked to lower outdoor activity frequency and increased near work duration, even after adjusting for age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). Notably, the duration of outdoor activity, near work frequency, and SES showed no significant association with myopia. The study suggested that daily sunlight exposure and limiting prolonged near work might protect against myopia. While the prevalence of myopia has increased globally, the study emphasized the importance of prevention strategies for children of all ages, considering the economic impact and cost-effectiveness of interventions. The findings also indicated a potential connection between myopia and SES, but this association became non-significant after adjusting for outdoor activity and near work duration.

Publication date

November 10, 2022


BMC Public Health

Sponsor Institution

LIFE – Leipzig Research Center for Civilization Diseases, University of Leipzig. LIFE is funded by means of the European Union, by means of the European Social Fund (ESF), by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and by means of the Free State of Saxony, as per the budget approved by the state parliament. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.


Dariusch Philipp; Mandy Vogel; Manuela Brandt; Franziska G. Rauscher; Andreas Hiemisch; Siegfried Wahl; Wieland Kiess; Tanja Poulain
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