Between 80 and 90 percent of East Asian schoolchildren are nearsighted, a trend that researchers attribute to an evolving lifestyle encouraging more time indoors than out in the sunlight, according to a new study in The Lancet.

In comparison, the rate of nearsightedness, or myopia, in the U.K. is between 20 and 30 percent, according to a Time article on the study.

Another correlation that the study found: Countries with higher rates of myopia are those that have higher rates of educational performance, leading researchers to postulate that students may be spending an inordinate amount of time with their noses in the books than outside.

Researchers also found that cities with brighter sunlight often showed lower rates of vision issues. It's been shown that sunlight stimulates the release of a chemical that helps prevent myopia, lead researcher Ian Morgan told Time.

This article is part of our Next America: Higher Education project, which is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation.

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