Why is outdoor playing so good for children? And what does that actually have to do with the eyes?[[Page-blue]]
Well, here's the thing: when you play outside, you're much more likely to look far away instead of close. Looking far away is an important workout for your eye muscles. So, actually cycling, running and playing outside is a kind of gym for your eyes!
Children become nearsighted more quickly when they look at things close up for a long time, for example at monitors or when they read a book. Did you know that already a quarter of the 13-year-olds in the Netherlands are nearsighted?
Children play outside much less than they used to, and this is not good for the development of the eye. The advice is that children should play outside for at least 2 hours a day.
Sometimes it's great to let them relax with a movie or game on a screen. But scientific research shows that children's eyes deteriorate less rapidly when far and near vision are alternated.
So make sure that after 20 minutes of close-up viewing, children have a break of at least 20 seconds to look far away. And so 2 hours of outdoor play! This is also known as the 20/20/2 Rule.[[Page-Blue-End]]