Pilot study of a novel classroom designed to prevent myopia by increasing children’s exposure to outdoor light

Zhongqiang Zhou, Tingting Chen, Mengrui Wang, Ling Jin, Yongyi Zhao, Shangji Chen, Congyao Wang, Guoshan Zhang, Qilin Wang, Qiaoming Deng, Yubo Liu, Ian G. Morgan, Mingguang He, Yizhi Liu, Nathan Congdon

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Abstract

We sought to assess light characteristics and user acceptability of a prototype Bright Classroom (BC), designed to prevent children's myopia by exposing them to light conditions resembling the outdoors. Conditions were measured throughout the school year in the glass-constructed BC, a traditional classroom (TC) and outdoors. Teachers and children completed user questionnaires, and children rated reading comfort atdifferent light intensities. A total of 230 children (mean age 10.2 years, 57.4% boys)and 13 teachers (36.8 years, 15.4% men) completed questionnaires. The median (InterQuartile Range) light intensity in the BC (2,540 [1,330-4,060] lux) was greater than the TC (477 [245-738] lux, P < 0.001), though less than outdoors (19,500 [8,960-36,000]lux, P < 0.001). A prominent spectral peak at 490-560 nm was present in the BC and outdoors, but less so in the TC. Teachers and children gave higher overall ratings tothe BC than TC, and light intensity in the BC in summer and on sunny days (>5,000lux) was at the upper limit of children's comfort for reading. In summary, light intensity in the BC exceeds TC, and is at the practical upper limit for routine use. Children and teachers prefer the BC.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018177
Number of pages16
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2017

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