To Get More Exercise, Let Children Play Outside

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Study shows children who spend more time outdoors after school, get more moderate to vigorous physical activity

If you want your kids to be active, open the doors and encourage them to go play outside after school. The outdoors has more room to run and play than your home, and one study shows that children take advantage of that space.

Children who spend more time outdoors after school are more physically active, a new study in the Journal of Pediatric study shows. Researchers noted that studies show children get most of their moderate to vigorous physical activity during school hours. But we can’t rely solely on school hours to keep kids healthy. Students rarely receive the necessary 60 minutes of physical activity in school hours each day.

Researchers had 591 children 9-17 years old wear accelerometers for at least 8 hours a day three days a week. The children then reported how much time they spent outdoors each day. The study found that children who spend some time outdoors are more physically active, and children who spent most or all time outdoors are the most physically active. Students who spent less time outdoors were more sedentary.

Our homes are less conducive to creating active kids, but we can fix that. To provide our children 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day, we must let them answer the call of the outdoors and allow them outside to play outside after school.

 


Photo by Jodimichelle CC

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