This article has been written by our friends at Vuly.
It is a proven scientific fact that playing outside is beneficial to your health, regardless of how young or how old you are. With that having been said, outdoor play is particularly beneficial for kids, not least because their bodies and their brains are still developing.
In today’s world, at least in developed countries, many children are spending way too much time indoors. Even when they get home from school in the afternoons, they spend most of their time indoors playing on computers, tablets, or on their phones. What are these kids missing out on? Let’s take a look at five scientifically proven reasons why children should be spending more time outdoors:
1. Vitamin D
In the early 20th century, tens of thousands of children were developing crippling bone deformities due to a health condition known as rickets, a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency. Today, the disease has virtually been eradicated thanks to awareness and vitamin D fortified foods.
When your skin is exposed to sunlight, your body produces its own vitamin D, which is great news considering that it is almost impossible to get sufficient vitamin D from the foods we eat.
2. Disease Resistance
Many parents believe that their children are better off if they are prevented from playing outside in the dirt. However, numerous scientific studies have shown otherwise.
The soil in your garden is teeming with bacteria, viruses, germs, and who knows what else, but many of those nasty things are not so nasty after all. In fact, studies have shown that they help to develop and strengthen the immune system, and even the brain.
3. Improved Vision
A number of studies, including quite a recent one carried out at Ohio State University College of Optometry, have shown that strong natural light helps children to develop better distance vision, while at the same time reducing the risk of developing short sightedness. The most recent study shows that as little as 14 hours of natural outdoor light per week is enough to benefit vision.
One study examined two groups of children. The one group consisted of kids who rarely played outside, while the second group consisted of kids who spent a lot of time playing outside. Unsurprisingly, all the kids in the outside group had better distance vision that those who preferred to be indoors.
4. Improved Muscle Development and Motor Skills
When children play outdoors, their bodies are almost never stationary because they are always running about, climbing trees, skipping, or jumping over stuff and etc. All this physical activity requires their muscles to work, thereby improving muscle development.
Some outdoor activities are extremely beneficial, in that they work virtually every muscle in the body, while at the same improving motor skills. Trampolines are one example that springs to mind. Swing sets are also great things to have in the garden if you have very young kids.
5. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Playing outdoors trigger a range of physiological responses, and the accumulative effect is a reduction in stress and anxiety. This is backed up by the results of many studies.
Similar studies have likewise shown that outdoor play can also benefit kids, and even adults as we all know how fun it is to be outdoors with family and friends relaxing in Brisbane’s fantastic weather regardless of our age. So let’s all get outdoors and show the kids how fun it can be!
Get Outdoors and Let’s Be Healthy – By the team at Vuly