Outdoor play with friends increases health benefits for children

Researchers from the University of Bristol have found that children greatly benefit from outside play with friends. Four hundred and twenty seven children aged 10-11 were included in the study. The majority of participating children spent most of their after-school time indoors, either alone or with parents. However, for every hour spent outdoors with friends, the study found children doing an extra 17 minutes of physical activity. For both boys and girls being outdoors showed a stronger link with physical activity than being indoors. Time spent indoors with friends was also positively linked with physical activity but not as strongly as when outdoors (six minutes of physical activity per hour spent inside with friends).

Physical activity has previously been shown to help maintain a healthy weight, protect against some forms of cancer and improve mental health. The government recommends children are physically active for at least one hour a day. Safefood have recently launched their ‘Bring back play’ campaign encouraging parents to introduce their kids to the games they played when young as a great way to get exercise and have fun with peers and family. 

Posted: 16/05/2014 13:46:34 by Laura Keaver


 

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