If you ever need any information on the effects of getting kids outside and active, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has it! In their Every Child Outdoors document they’ve got just about every study ever done.
Our Every Child Outdoors research – summarized in this document – draws together the findings from the wide range of research that has been carried out into the positive impacts that contact with nature has on children, as well as on the environment. It also explores some of the consequences of the loss of such experiences and, sadly, the increasingly used term of Nature Deficit Disorder to describe the phenomenon.
Today’s children are gravitating away from the natural world in favor of sedentary indoor activities.
“This trend may have a negative impact on the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development of our children, and fail to provide experiences that help them understand how their lifestyle choices impact the environment. Limited time in the outdoors may prevent them from enjoying future outdoor pursuits.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services these are the facts:
- Vigorous intensity physical activity is important for healthy growth and development among children and adolescents. A positive
- association has also been found between physical activity and improvements in concentration, memory, and classroom behavior.
- Due to environmental constraints (lack of safe, convenient places to play) and busy schedules, many children don’t have a chance to participate in unstructured, child-centered play.
- Environmental learning that integrates “school subjects” using real world activities helps students understand the world can positively influence student achievement.
- 90% of adults who participate in at least one human-powered activity began participating in outdoor activities between the ages of 5 and 18.
- Three to twelve year olds who spend more time outdoors are likely to be more physically active.