Ground Report | New Delhi: Increased screen time in Covid; A new study has revealed that lifestyle changes and spending too much time on-screen during the Corona epidemic could potentially affect children’s eyesight. Analyzing children between the ages of six and eight in Hong Kong, the researchers found a possible increase in the incidence of myopia during the epidemic.
He also noticed an increase in the screen time of these children and a significant reduction in the time to play and jump outside. The children were grouped into two separate groups for the analysis, which was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
One group included children at the beginning of the corona, while the other group was part of a separate study before the advent of Covid-19. Researchers studying the vision and behavior of 1,793 children during the epidemic found that 19% of children suffered from myopia during the health crisis following the follow-up period. On the other hand, when compared to the group of children before the epidemic, it was found that the rate in this group was 13%.
According to the researchers: “The alarming finding in our report is that during the Covid-19 epidemic, there were significant changes in children’s lifestyles, with 68% of children having reduced outdoor time and 2.8 times increasing their screen time. Happened. ‘
Increased screen time in Covid
According to the report: ‘Evidence shows that when children do not go to school, they are less physically active and have longer screen time, and after studying all the environmental risk factors, it has been proven that The constant increase in outdoor time protects against diseases like myopia. The authors of The Chinese University of Hong Kong concluded from the study that: School children between the ages of six and eight saw a significant reduction in outdoor time and an increase in network (screen) time.
The report added: “Our findings are enough to warn ophthalmologists, policymakers, teachers, and parents that collective efforts are needed to prevent childhood myopia during a potential public health crisis as a result of Covid-19.” However, Oliver Braddock, a retired professor of psychology at Oxford University, questioned the findings of the study, saying researchers may not have been able to make a “direct comparison” between the two groups.
Professor Braddick said: “The cod epidemic provided an interesting opportunity to learn how the imposed lifestyle changes have affected the vision in young children.” He added: “It is unfortunate, however, that this study cannot make a direct comparison between the incidence of myopia in the pre-and post-epidemic groups as the two groups have been followed up at different times.”
Children visual impairment
“However, a 2013 study in Sydney found other evidence that participating in outdoor activities in daylight is effective in protecting children from visual impairment,” he said. According to the results. “It should also be noted that this study was conducted in an urban population in the East Asian region, where the level of myopia is generally higher than in Europeans,” said Professor Braddock.
A study by ophthalmologists at King’s College London in 2018 linked the use of children’s smartphones and other devices to the growing number of children born in the summer months as well as the growing epidemic of vision. Researchers at the University of New South Wales, meanwhile, predicted in 2016 that cases of myopia would increase sevenfold in the next three decades, with 2050 expected.
About 4.8 billion people are expected to lose their sight by now.