Spending time outdoors for children is something that has lost a lot of popularity in recent years due to the many technologically-related activities that take up most of their time in the house, such as playing on the computer or smartphone.
Being outdoors, however, comes with a plethora of vital health benefits that simply can’t be recreated indoors, and it’s important that kids spend an adequate amount of time outside every day. These are some of the health advantages that children can benefit from spending time away from a screen, while also allowing their parents some much needed free time for TV shows and online bingo.
A study that was published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology discovered that children that spend a certain amount of time in the outdoors have a much lower risk of developing a condition known medically as myopia, and more commonly as near-sightedness. The researchers found that the chances of myopia dropped by a total of two per cent for every hour spent in the garden or at t the park. There are a number of reasons for this, with the leading belief being that the increased exposure to Vitamin D benefits their sight greatly.
It’s estimated that 6.4 million children between the ages of 4 and 17 suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, and it’s believed that children spending time outdoors have reduced symptoms of the condition. This includes time spent at the park and extra-curricular activities, such as sport, and it’s becoming increasingly more believed that these kind of activities can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from any conditions linked to shortened attention spans, which tend to develop from an overstimulation of the brain, especially when it comes to social media and video gaming.
Reductions in Stress
Stress is a natural response of the body to deal with the many dangers that our ancestors once faced, but in today’s world the body doesn’t know how to properly manage stress levels and the sources of stress. But being outside is a good way of relieving stress, according to a study from 2014 from researchers at the University of Colorado. Their results hypothesized that time spent in green areas, such as parks, had an immediate effect on the stress levels of children, reducing them overall when made a part of their daily routines.
Children left to their own devices in an open, outdoor setting will naturally seek out familiars to spend their time with. This has been shown to benefit kids in a number of ways, and that it can improve social, cognitive, and emotional health for children from as young as infancy. The more time they spend playing together and forming bonds, the healthier it is for their brains and for developing the necessary tools to deal with socialising in the future as they get older. This is also a good way of developing the skills for those that are socially inept.