Give you kid a smartphone, a tub of butter popcorn and a Play Station-there is nothing more that he/she would want in life. Meeting friends or partying too keeps these young ones talking about the latest games and gadgets in town. Hanging out with friends can make kids less sedentary but triggering their desire to play outdoor with inviting outdoor spaces and parks keeps them physically active and strong, according to new research.
Outdoor Play Causes Positive Influences
Playing outside is beneficial to kids in various ways-they are exposed to sunlight (source of vitamin D), breathe fresh air and interact with natural elements all of which accelerate bone development, stronger immune system and physical activity. Engaging in some outdoor physical activity from an early age seems the need of the day due to overwhelming increase in childhood obesity rates and overweight.
Current societal lifestyle greatly affects a kid’s childhood experience. Outdoor play time is becoming negligible and kids are locked up inside their houses due to educational pressure or gadget addiction. Bitter to digest but the truth remains that we can only help kids these days live a less-sedentary lifestyle but can never make them lead an active one! Earlier, more the time kids spent with friends, more active they used to be. But now, alone or in a group each one has a smartphone or iPad in his/her hand that keeps him/her occupied oblivious to the surrounding. Children want to live in recluse, but globalization, urban growth and technology also shoulder responsibility for decreasing outdoor activity. Both parents in most families work and children come under the care of grandparents or caretaker. Interactions with strangers, car traffic and other possible hazards are the reasons commonly given by parents for preventing their children from playing outdoors, despite knowing the advantages.
Outdoor Activity Study
The research followed 431 children aged between 8 and 10 years for at least 10 hours a day and for at least four days over one week. A smaller group of the same children (aged 10-12 years) were followed after a two-year gap. The study found that:
Schools too can contribute towards children’s physical health by arranging more physical-education classes which make children comfortable with physical skills and improve school performance. Exercise is greatly related to improved cognitive ability as explained at www.firsteatright.com and engaging in regular physical activity can help your kid excel academically. Short activity breaks can also be planned in between classes to prevent kids from sitting continuously which might become a lifelong habit later.
Playtime is fun time and kids who move a lot, stay out playing a lot and spend minimal time indoors are more creative and imaginative. Rather than joining them in some activity class or summer camps that keep these children indoors, enroll your kids in sports classes, hiking, rock climbing classes or even walkathons to help them relish the goodness of moving more and staying active.
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