Study finds that children who play outside with friends after school are more physically activity

Remember those long hours of freedom after school? When you were a kid, how did you spend that time? Were you with an adult? Inside? Outside? With friends?

Whether due to safety concerns or new technology, more and more of today’s children seem to spend their after-school playtime inside under the watchful eyes of adults. But this type of play limits children’s physical activity.

A new study of 10 and 11 year olds in the United Kingdom, found that children who spend their after school hours outside with friends get more moderate to vigorous physical activity.

In the study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, children reported how they spent their time and wore accelerometers to measure their physical activity. The study found that children spent most of their time inside with a parent or adult. Children were alone were mostly sedentary. Children who were indoors with friends or adults experienced some, but not a lot of physical activity. Only when children went outside to play with friends were they significantly active.

This is what we’re talking about! The great outdoors is a place of fun, sunshine, fresh air and adventures. When children head outside to play, they meet up with friends, run around and make memories that last a lifetime.

This study is must one more reason to let your child play. Let your childhood memories of great after-school play and studies like these overcome your fear of their safety. Just review a few basic safety rules with your child and his or her friends and go over the physical boundaries of their playspace, then kick them (figuratively) out the door to play!

More Resources

March 13, 2019

Behind the Scenes: Reinforcing SEL with Games ›

You probably know the saying “you are what you eat.” But did you know that you are also “how you play”? When it comes to social and emotional learning (SEL), practice matters. When kids play, they are practicing social and emotional habits that will stick.

January 28, 2019

10 Brain Breaks That Will Help Your Students Refocus ›

It’s that time of day. Your students are restless, perhaps due to the weather. You can see their eyes glazing over as you review decimals and fractions—for the third time this week. The room is stuffy, and everyone is tired. Students move to their tables and begin their group work, when suddenly, you hear loud…

November 17, 2018

Jump Rope Games To Help Everyone Jump In ›

Jump rope is one of the easiest ways to play alongside kids at recess or during break time. Grown-ups can introduce games that help kids develop basic jumping skills or use jump ropes in creative ways. Here are a few of our favorite jump rope games for different ages and learning goals. Games to reinforce…