If you have young kids at home, how often do you play outside with them? Well, on a average day, half of all preschoolers in America don't spend any time playing outdoors. This despite the fact that playing outdoors has been tied to a bunch of health benefits.
According to research published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, fewer than half of mothers and only a quarter of fathers take their child for a walk or play with them in the yard or park once a day.
The new study was reported in Reuters Health, and the story provides parents with guidelines from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.
They suggest that kids get at least an hour of physical activity a day for long-term health benefits, such as preventing childhood obesity. Preschoolers should also get a few hours of unstructured playtime each day.
But while some parents may assume their kids are getting outdoor time in childcare or preschool, that may not always be the case.
The researchers did find that kids with a few regular playmates were more likely to get daily time outside, perhaps because their parents traded off, taking a few children to the park at a time.
So if you’re the parent of young children, make sure they are getting enough physical exercise each day. And if it’s too hot to play outside, you could always put on a Richard Simmons exercise video. Or on second thought, maybe a Jillian Michaels video would be a better choice. ;-]
I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.