Saturday 30 October 2021
15:30 - 16:15
Sunlight, Health and Myopia
From the beginning of 20th century, to the 1960s, sunlight was used to treat a range of medical conditions. Hospitals were arranged for the sunlight therapy of tuberculosis, war wounds and influenza. Also, daylight was widely believed to prevent myopia in children. Schools were built with large windows to try to stop it. Near work at low light levels was believed to be harmful. Outdoor activities were thought to protect children’s sight which is one reason schools had playgrounds and open spaces around them. Then medical thinking changed. Sunlight therapy fell into disuse and daylight was no longer considered important for children’s visual health. Designing schools to protect children’s eyesight ended. But recent research findings now suggest daylight outdoors may be important in preventing myopia in children. Daylight in classrooms may help too. In this presentation, Dr. Richard Hobday explores the history of the relationship between daylight, direct sunlight, health and myopia.
Richard Hobday, UK
Richard Hobday is a researcher and author who is currently investigating how school planning could better protect children's eyesight. Dr. Hobday is also examining how infectious diseases influence building design. He is the author of The Healing Sun: Sunlight and Health in the 21st century, which has been translated into several languages.