A study undertaken by researchers at the Chinese University of Hong Kong indicates that near-sightedness (myopia) has increased significantly over a 10-year period in the youth of that region, and handheld videogames were given most of the blame.
The study was actually carried out between 2006 and 2007 and involved over 800 kids between the ages of two and six. Results were then compared to a similar study undertaken in 1996. It was reported that the number of cases of near-sightedness rose from 157 kids to 222, and that the number of children wearing glasses rose from 2.3 percent in the older study to 6.3 percent in the newer one.
Dennis Lam Shun-chiu, Chairman of the school’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences pinned the blame on “playing video games – especially in moving vehicles – and watching television or using a computer for a long time and sitting too close to screens…” according to The Standard.
Lam suggested regular eye checks for kids once they are three years old, increasing outdoor activities and teaching young readers to look off into the distance for 30 seconds for every 30 minutes they read.