May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Myopia in Children and Objectively-Measured Physical Activity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • C. Williams
    Ophthalmology, Bristol Eye Hosp, Bristol, United Kingdom
    Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol University, United Kingdom
  • K. Deere
    Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • S. Leary
    Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • C. Mattocks
    Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • A. Ness
    Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • C. Riddoch
    London Sports Institute, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
  • S. N. Blair
    Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, Dist. of Columbia
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships C. Williams, None; K. Deere, None; S. Leary, None; C. Mattocks, None; A. Ness, None; C. Riddoch, None; S.N. Blair, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support NIH Grant R01 HL071248-01A1, Wellcome/MRC core grant
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 1026. doi:
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      C. Williams, K. Deere, S. Leary, C. Mattocks, A. Ness, C. Riddoch, S. N. Blair; Myopia in Children and Objectively-Measured Physical Activity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1026. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose:: The prevalence of myopia is increasing in several countries. Most research has concentrated on aetiological factors, ocular co-morbidity and treatments -there has been little information about non-ocular associations of myopia that might be important for health and well-being. We present data from an ongoing birth cohort study regarding the physical activity levels of young myopic individuals.

Methods:: Participants were children involved in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).The children had autorefraction at 10 years and physical activity levels measured at 11 years. Physical activity was measured with an accelerometer for up to 7 days. This instrument provides a continuous objective measure of physical activity.

Results:: Using multiple linear regression and adjusting for age, gender and body mass index (BMI), children who were myopic at 10 years had lower levels of physical activity (logged mean number of minutes per day of moderate or vigorous activity) at 11 years, compared to non-myopic children: (ß = -0.156; 95% CI-0.261, -0.051; p = 0.004). Myopic children also had a higher number of minutes per day of sedentary activity: 15.7 minutes: 95% CI 5.8, 28.6; p = 0.002.

Conclusions:: Myopic children in this cohort have lower levels of objectively-measured physical activity compared to their non-myopic peers. This finding echoes previously reported indirect accounts of myopic children spending less time on outside or sporting activities than emmetropic children and it supports the recent hypothesis that outside activities may be protective against myopia. The data may also suggest that the current management of myopic refractive error puts children at increased risk for ill-health associated with sedentary living.

Keywords: myopia • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: risk factor assessment • refraction 

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