Smartphones Are Destroying Students’ Eyesight, Claims Japanese Ministry Survey

According to a recent survey conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the number of students with vision below the standard 20/20 has reached an all-time high of 25.3% with “increased time spent staring at [smartphone] screens…and mobile games” believed to be the leading cause (via Engadget).

Games eyesight

The survey found that 67% of high school students and more than 34% of elementary students had a vision below the standard score (41% of men and 32% of women).

Recent market research showed that Japan is the world’s third largest gaming market with a large chunk of those gamers playing mobile games. However, an increase in screen time hasn’t yet been medically proven to affect eyesight.

34.1 percent of elementary students and up to a whopping 67.09 percent of high school students did not have 1.0 vision, the highest ever in history. Although junior high school students did not break any records this year, they still came pretty close at 56.04 percent (compared to last year’s 56.33 percent). 

“According to experts, this can be linked to the increased time spent staring at screens caused by smartphone usage and mobile games,” warned the ministry.

Earlier this year, China threatened to take real action to protect children’s eyesight, including regulating the number of online games and new releases.