A primary school in Hangzhou city, Zhejiang province has introduced yet another version of “eye exercises” to be performed by students twice a day as a way to combat the high incidence of myopia among Chinese children.
“Taking students’ hand hygiene problems” into consideration, the school is now promoting this no-touch method of eye exercises, according to Tan Chao, one of the primary school’s teachers. Previous exercises widely carried out across China’s schools combined Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques with massage and the application of pressure to eye-related acu-points.
During the new version of the “exercise”, students simply move their finger in different directions and roll their eyes as they follow the finger.
According to the school, the four-minute eye rolling exercise can help students relax their eyes so as to help lessen the chances of becoming nearsighted.
Because they no longer massage their eyes when performing the exercise, students don’t risk chance of contracting infectious eye diseases such as conjunctivitis.
The traditional eye exercises were developed in 1963 by Liu Shiming, a former director of the P.E. department at the Peking University Health Science Center. The exercise was implemented across China, but the actual effectiveness of such methods are debated.
One school in Wuhan went as far as to install restrictive railings on the desks to prevent myopia in students.
It’s estimated that around 80 percent of Asians are myopic, versus only 30 percent of Western populations. Environmental factors are partly to blame, but researchers are still trying to study its genetic causes.
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By Lucy Liu
[Images via NetEase]
[Video via Letv]