By Holly Lebowitz Rossi
October 27, 2011

The words, "Go outside and play" have long been known to encourage healthy behaviors in kids.  But a new study suggests that outdoor play may have another benefit--it may reduce the likelihood of children being nearsighted ("nearsighted" means kids have trouble seeing objects at a distance).

The Boston Globe reports that the study, presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology's annual meeting in Orlando, found that every hour a child spent playing outdoors reduced his or her chances of nearsightedness by 18 percent.  Further, nearsighted kids were found to spend an average of 4 fewer hours outdoors than kids with normal vision.

(image via: http://old.tehrantimes.com/)

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