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Changing Worlds, Changing Bodies

30 May 2019

How is the world that we have made remaking us?

In a short podcast series called ‘Changing Worlds, Changing Bodies’, UK-based writer Vybarr Cregan-Reid travels to US, Kenya and Singapore to find out why our feet are getting bigger and flatter, why back pain is the number one cause of disability in many places in the world, and what stress is doing to our faces.

In Singapore, as with other urban Asian cities, the rates of myopia have increased in the past few decades. Vybarr spoke to Professor Saw Seang Mei to find out why our eyes increasingly need help to see.

“The environmental factor is a large driving force,” said Prof Saw.

“Among the Inuit Eskimos and Alaskan Eskimos, for example, the rates of myopia have increased in the last generation since the introduction of compulsory schooling. In the past 50 years, very few Eskimos were myopic, but recently the myopia rates have increased,” she added.

However, the answer to why younger generations are more myopic is not that they wear out their eyes by staring at screens, playing computer games or watching television. The key lies in where they spend most of their time — indoors, away from natural light.

Listen to the podcast here:


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