Too much study can damage eyesight

Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia - short-sightedness - a study suggests.

Researchers say the "extraordinary rise" in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.

The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.

In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%.

Wow. I'm very firmly a believer that children should learn mostly through play at first, with only short formal lessons in KS1, plenty of play breaks (morning lunch and afternoon), plenty of physical exercise and more outdoor runaround time after school. Frankly I believe formal learning can wait, and the focus on standards etc is all wrong. There, I've said it.

I know this is Asia, but we are more and more going down this route hre in the UK, and more and more away from the gentler, Scandinavian model (incidentally, although they are way behind us at age 11, they pass us, educationally, around the age 14-15 mark... a 'slow' start is much better long term it seems. We had a fascinating guest speaker once at uni). In doing so, in our drive to inprive 'standards' are we risking permanently disabling our children?