Study: Nearly Half of US Pre-Schoolers Don’t Play Outdoors

5 years ago

A recent study that worked with nearly 9,000 US children found that 49% of them don't go outside to play. 

This is true even after 93% of the moms said they considered their neighborhood safe. On the flip-side, 44% of moms and 24% of dads mentioned they take their children outside to walk at least once a day.

Shocked with the 49% stats? So are we.

Other highlights of the study are
  • Children in daycare centers with playgrounds were less likely to go out
  • Girls were less engaged in physical activities because parents did not take them outside to play as much compared to boys

Why should you take your kids outside to play?

Aside from FUN being a primary - and good - reason, Dr. Pooja Tandon, who conducted the study with her other colleagues, said that playing outdoors...
  • Can help physical development (other research have shown this)
  • May help improve motor skills
  • Provides an opportunity for learning
  • Allows children to soak-up vitamin D from the sun
  • May help improve vision and mental health

In addition, another study found that physical activity can boost academic performance.

So now the question is:

Why do parents tend to keep their children indoors?

We'd like to hear YOUR thoughts on this so please leave a comment below. To get the conversation going, we'll give a few reasons:

  • Time. Parents may work long hours to support the family.
  • Exhaustion. Parents may be too tired from the day's demands to go out and watch their children play.
  • Danger. A parent's worst fear is to lose their children to either accidents or ill-intentioned folks.
  • Social support (or lack of it). Another study which looked into why moms don't let children play outside has found that the perception of having shared values with the neighborhood is important.

If moms think the community has the same goals as they do, they are more likely to send their kids outside to play.

Oh, and in case you're wondering about how British kids are doing, TreeHugger.comsays that 25% of the 500 kids who took part in the survey didn't play outdoors.

Now it's YOUR turn. Why don't parents send their children outdoors much?

Leave a comment here or head to the original post over at: Green Eggs & Moms

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