Ergonomics and environment are factors in slowing down the development of the myopia. Having a proper working distance to your near-work is essential. Holding reading materials too close stresses your focusing and convergence system and thereby increasing the myopia. Harmon’s working distance (for each person, that is the knuckle of their hand to their elbow) has been shown to be the most beneficial working distance. Using a slanted desk helps with the proper body and eye posture to reduce strain. Taking breaks from near work every 20 minutes and looking at distance to relax the accommodative (focusing) system of the eye is important. If the distance is blurry when doing this and it takes time to clear up, you are at risk of increasing the myopia.
It is strongly advised to get outdoors and look at distances in a three-dimensional space (looking at a lake, trees, mountains…looking at a television does not qualify). Myopia increases in areas that have winter and where people spend more time indoors (constricted spaces). In my schooling, the evidence had shown that farmers did hardly developed myopia at all. This statistic has now changed with the introduction of technology. People in academia had a higher rate of myopia. So these statistics indicate that increased amounts of near-work, looking at objects too close to you, increases your risk of myopia. We can all see the unique postures people use to view their cell phones.
For more information on myopia control, call Dr. Patricia Fink Optometry at 905-319-1066.