We all know that kids love being active and that being active makes kids happy. And you’ve probably seen how grumpy kids can instantly go from grizzle to delight in a mere moment just by stepping outside. And now the studies are in to prove what you already knew about kids and the great outdoors!
A recent report from Planet Ark summarised a body of local and international research linking childhood contact with nature with a range of health and wellbeing benefits, including:
Combining these with what we know about kids needing physical activity and heading outside for exercise seems like a terrific idea. And the icing on the cake for outdoor activity is that kids who are more active when young develop fewer health problems and kids who spend time outside grow into adults with a stronger sense of concern and care for the environment. Good for now, good for the future!
There are loads of ways to be active in the outdoors, even if you don’t have a big outdoor area to play in:
Spend time in nature running, climbing trees and getting dirty, or sitting quietly in the natural world around you. Just spending one hour outdoors instead of in the classroom will save you both gas and electricity!
According to a recent study, only one in ten children play outside once a week or less, and only 35% of children play outside every day compared to 72% of their parents.
Research has shown a link between body mass index (BMI) scores in children and their access to ‘green’ areas and levels of outdoor play. BMI is often used by health authorities and researchers to indicate healthy weight ranges.
Physical activity should not be mistaken for sport: physical activity is any bodily movement produced by the skeletal muscles that uses energy. This includes sports, exercise and other activities such as playing, walking, doing household chores, gardening and dancing.