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Language Log » Chinese characters and eyesight

Yet China and many other East Asian countries do not prize time outdoors. At the age of six, children in China and Australia have similar rates of myopia. Once they start school, Chinese children spend about an hour a day outside, compared with three or four hours for Australian ones.

The incidence of myopia is high across East Asia, afflicting 80-90% of urban 18-year-olds in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The problem is social rather than genetic.

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face.  This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that would seem to indicate a connection between myopia and Chinese characters

Commenting on the photographs accompanying these two posts, I remarked how Chinese children reading and writing often have a strained look on their face. This may due to a variety of factors, including density of strokes, dim lighting, poor printing, and so forth.

The questions is, though, why don't Chinese school children spend more time outdoors? Perhaps it's because they want to master those high maintenance characters, and to do so requires writing each one of them hundreds and hundreds of time so that one can recognize them accurately and reproduce them correctly when called upon to do so in tīngxiě 听写 ("dictation" [lit., "hear-write"]) quizzes.
opinion  chinese  writing  kid  eye  health  harm  research  reading  comparison  theory 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
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