A1 Journal article (refereed)
Associations of Children’s Close Reading Distance and Time Spent Indoors with Myopia, Based on Parental Questionnaire (2022)

Pärssinen, O., Lassila, E., & Kauppinen, M. (2022). Associations of Children’s Close Reading Distance and Time Spent Indoors with Myopia, Based on Parental Questionnaire. Children, 9(5), 632. https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050632

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsPärssinen, Olavi; Lassila, Essi; Kauppinen, Markku

Journal or seriesChildren


Publication year2022

Publication date28/04/2022


Issue number5

Pages range632

PublisherMDPI AG

Publication countrySwitzerland

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83850


Purpose: To study the association of parents’ reports about their children’s near work and outdoor habits with myopia in their children. Methods: Data from a questionnaire study conducted in 1983 among Finnish schoolchildren were reanalyzed. Vision screening had been performed for all the schoolchildren (n = 4961) in the 1st, 5th, and 8th grades (7-, 11-, and 15-year-olds) in an area of Central Finland. The questionnaire, including information about myopia, was returned by 4305 (86.7%) participants. Items concerned parents’ estimates of their child’s habitual reading distance, time spent indoors as compared with age peers, daily near work, outdoors time, and parents’ myopia. The associations of myopia with these factors were studied. Results: Myopia prevalence in those with a habitual close reading distance vs. others was 14.3% vs. 2.1%, 28.7% vs. 13.1% and 45.8% vs. 24.7% for the 7-, 11- and 15-year-olds (p < 0.001 in all age-groups). Myopia prevalence in children reported by their parents as spending more time indoors than age peers was 10.9% vs. 2.8% (p < 0.001), 25.0% vs. 14.7% (p = 0.004) and 41.9% vs. 25.7% (p < 0.001) in the three age groups. Myopia prevalence among those reported as spending both more time indoors and reading at a close distance vs. others was 44.2% vs. 11.9% (Fisher’s exact t-test, p < 0.001). In the multiple logistic regression models, parental myopia almost doubled the risk of myopia in the 11- and 15-year-olds. ORs (95% CI) for myopia adjusted for parental myopia and sex were for close reading distance 7.381 (4.054–13.440), 2.382 (1.666–3.406), 2.237 (1.498–3.057), (p < 0.001), and for more time spent indoors, 3.692 (1.714–7.954), p = 0.001, 1.861 (1.157–2.992), p = 0.010), 1.700 (1.105–2.615), p = 0.016, in the three age groups. Conclusion: Children, especially 7-year-olds, reported by their parents as having a close reading distance and spending a lot of time indoors were associated with a higher risk for myopia.

Keywordsmyopiachildren (age groups)young peopleeyesightparentstime usereadingoutdoor recreationhereditygenetic factorsoccurrencerisk factorsquestionnaire survey

Free keywordsparents opinion; children’s myopia; close reading distance; time spent indoors; outdoors; parents’ myopia; questionnaire study

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-14-06 at 23:25