A short period of intensive outdoor activity leads to an increase in the thickness of the central choroid/cornea

A team of researchers studied the effects of intense outdoor activity on children’s eyes and found that the thicknesses of the choroid and central cornea increased over a very short period of time after intense outdoor activity.

Mamoru Ogawa, MD, from the Department of Ophthalmology and Laboratory of Photobiology at Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, presented the findings in a poster at the 2022 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in vision and ophthalmology in Denver.

“This is an important finding given the rapidly increasing prevalence of myopia that has been recognized worldwide,” the investigators noted.

“The increasing prevalence of myopia around the world is a relatively recent social health issue,” the investigators noted, adding that outdoor activity is an evidence-based environmental factor that protects against the progression of myopia.

According to the presentation, investigators conducted a study that included 17 children who participated in an activity program that increased outdoor time over a week by more than 2 hours on day 1, 3 hours on day 2, 6 hours per day on the following days for a total of 6 days during the 2021 vacation at a summer camp in Japan.

All children underwent measurement of refractive error, axial length, corneal and choroidal thicknesses, and tear fluid volume, and the children completed a questionnaire. These parameters were analyzed at the beginning and at the end of the program; data from the left eye were evaluated.

The children had a mean age of 12 ± 1.0 years and 47.1% were girls. Investigators reported a significant (p

No significant changes were observed in refractive error, axial length, or tear fluid volume during the study.

“Our results suggest that intensive outdoor activity, even for 1 week, increases choroid and corneal thickness in Japanese school children,” the researchers concluded. “Further studies are needed to assess the effects in more subjects over the long term.”

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