Wantang throws more light on myopia – Chinadaily.com.cn – China Daily

China Daily | Updated: 2022-09-08 07:32
Wantang Primary School based in Honghe Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province, made a buzz recently after all its 536 students cleared the myopia test. In fact, a survey of 25 students found that 20 percent had good eyesight while 12 students had excellent eyesight.
A national myopia survey undertaken from September to December 2020, covering 2.48 million students in 8,604 schools nationwide, found that 52.7 percent of Chinese students had myopia in 2020, 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2019. The rate was as high as 80.5 percent among high school students and 14.3 percent among 6-year-olds.
Against this backdrop, what Wantang Primary School has achieved is no less than a miracle.
It might be good for schools nationwide to find out what the Wantang school is doing right. Reports say students there follow a healthy schedule with three hours of outdoor games every day, and at least 10.5 hours of sleep. They are not allowed to carry smartphones to school, they have a balanced diet and there are green trees all around the campus.
The most effective of all these measures is definitely the three hours of outdoor games every day. Exposure to sun is known to decrease the severity of myopia, as natural light stimulates the retina and releases dopamine, an important hormone. As children adjust their eyes to varying light patterns while playing outside, from very bright to less bright, it helps check myopia.
In contrast, when children spend a long time studying indoors, their eyes cannot get ample sunlight and therefore secrete less dopamine, which leads to them getting myopia.
Other schools should let their students play outdoors more often.


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