Assessment of daily light and ultraviolet exposure in young adults

Schmid, Katrina L., Leyden, Karla, Chiu, Yu-huan, Lind, Sarah-Rose, Vos, Dow James, Kimlin, Michael G., & Wood, Joanne M. (2013) Assessment of daily light and ultraviolet exposure in young adults. Optometry and Vision Science, 90(2), pp. 148-155.

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Purpose: There are some limited reports, based on questionnaire data, which suggest that outdoor activity decreases the risk of myopia in children and may offset the myopia risk associated with prolonged near work. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between near work, indoor illumination, daily sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) exposure in emmetropic and myopic University students, given that University students perform significant amounts of near work and as a group have a high prevalence of myopia.

Methods: Participants were 35 students, aged 17 to 25 years who were classified as being emmetropic (n=13), or having stable (n=12) or progressing myopia (n=10). During waking hours on three separate days participants wore a light sensor data logger (HOBO) and a polysulphone UV dosimeter; these devices measured daily illuminance and accumulative UV exposure respectively; participants also completed a daily activity log.

Results: No significant between group differences were observed for average daily illuminance (p=0.732), number of hours per day spent in sunlight (p=0.266), outdoor shade (p=0.726), bright indoor/dim outdoor light (p=0.574) or dim room illumination (p=0.484). Daily UV exposure was significantly different across the groups (p=0.003); with stable myopes experiencing the greatest UV exposure (versus emmetropes p=0.002; versus progressing myopes p=0.004).

Conclusions: The current literature suggests there is a link between myopia protection and spending time outdoors in children. Our data provides some evidence of this relationship in young adults and highlights the need for larger studies to further investigate this relationship longitudinally.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
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10 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 54652
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: outdoor activity, myopia, refractive error, sunlight.
DOI: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31827cda5b
ISSN: 1040-5488
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 American Academy of Optometry
Deposited On: 07 Nov 2012 22:50
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2013 21:52

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