This study sought to investigate the recent incidence rate of myopia in Chinese junior high school students and analyze the effect of time spent outdoors on myopia, in addition to facilitating the prevention and control of myopia among students. This study was derived from a national panel study, the China Education Panel Survey. We conducted three rounds of follow-up visits among 10,279 seventh grade students from 112 middle schools in 20 provinces in 2013. In total, 3571 students were selected for the analysis in 2020 by excluding those lost to follow-up and students who were myopic in the first round. The primary outcomes were the prevalence of myopia and the effect of time outdoors on myopia. The baseline characteristics of the included students were described, and the correlation between time spent outdoors and myopia in the three rounds of data was analyzed by a correlation chi-square test. Then, the generalized estimation equation (GEE) was used to estimate the influence of time spent outdoors on myopia after follow-up. There were 3571 students with normal baseline vision, and 1508 (42.23%) students progressed from having a normal vision to myopia in the third round, of whom 706 (46.82%) were male and 802 (53.18%) were female. The results of the chi-square test showed that the time spent outdoors of all students and girls, specifically, was related to myopia (P < .05). Next, the GEE was used to analyze the influence of time spent outdoors on myopia after follow-up. After two model adjustments (individual and family-related characteristics of students), students with < 7 hours/week time spent outdoors retained a high myopia rate than ≥14 hours/week (OR = 1.250; 95% CI: 1.070–1.460). Among boys, there was no statistical correlation between time spent outdoors and myopia (P > .05). For girls, compared with students who spent ≥14 hours/week outdoors, students with <7 hours/week spent outdoors retained a higher myopia rate (OR = 1.355; 95%CI: 1.067–1.720). Increased time spent outdoors can delay the development of myopia. In terms of gender, girls should be targeted to more effectively prevent and control the development and progression of myopia.