Research shows that playing outside for two to three hours every day can drastically reduce a child’s risk of becoming near-sighted, the Daily Mail reported.

Professor Ian Morgan of the Australian Research Council’s Vision Center said he believes sunlight triggers the release of dopamine, which prevents eyeball from distorting.

Near-sightedness, or myopia, in which far away objects seem blurry, but up close objects are clear, usually develops during childhood and worsens as a person gets older.

The Australian government compared the vision and habits of 6- and 7-year-old children in Australia and Singapore, and found 30 percent of children in Singapore had myopia, which is 10 times the number of Australian kids.

Morgan found a parallel pattern surfaced when he compared children of Chinese descent to Australian descent, so the difference could not be clarified by genetics.

All of the children spent the same amount of time reading, playing computer games and watching television. Previous studies have said these activities may account for a loss of vision.

However, the Australian children spent about two hours every day playing outside, which was at least 90 minutes more than the Asian children.

“We’re seeing large increases in myopia among children in urban societies all around the world and the outstanding common factor may be less time spent outdoors,” Morgan told the Daily Mail.

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