Children should play and spend time outdoors

Children should spend time outside for physical activity, which means to remain physically fit and mentally alert.

A study published in 2014 in West says children who spend time outside after school are more physically fit. This study was highlighted in one of the leading TV channel of Pakistani. During the research it was found that Canadian children who spend their reasonable time outside after the school hour, these children’s were three times more physically active and fit as compare to those children who spend most of their time indoor.

Above mentioned is one example which verify how good and effective is spending time out door. Below we are going to provide more evidence in this regard. One of the researcher and author Lee Schaefer informed Reuter and he also advocates that students should spend time outside.  He found these kids will be more active and the time spend outdoor will be of great benefit for kids in long term. In this regard Schaefer and team of Regina University, Canada studied more than 300 young ones with the age ranging between 9-17 years.

The participants who agree to take part in this research, they wore device that measure their steps and movement of a week. They reported the time they spend outside after school time. With their finding in term of physically active kids spend time outdoor and those who stayed mostly indoor had sedentary life style. They concluded it is very important for children in school to spend their time outdoor beside classroom, when they are outdoor they are more energetic, agile and active. Finally they mentioned it is important for the children to have their movement more in form from moderate to vigorous.

kids-playing-outside

Children should spend at least one hour per day outdoor to have moderate to energetic or forceful exercise. This should results in sweetening and increases in their pulse / heart rate. As reported in the Journal of Pediatric by the Centers of disease control & prevention in US they said very small number of children even in developed countries spend this recommended amount of time out door.

In earlier studies it was found in general, low levels of exercise in children are attributed to number of reasons. Few of them may be due to sedentary life style in children. Mainly kids are engage in video game and computer (such as laptop, tablets and now day’s Android mobile).

Secondly in underdeveloped countries like our Pakistan, India and other SARRC countries there are shrinking or less space available for the kids and young adult to play outside especially in big cities in terms of as parks and play ground.

In our SARRC region and also even observe in develop and developing countries less time is devoted  for physical activity due to overloading curriculum, rigorous and stern academic need, which have led to find very little space or give low priority for outdoor play time for children in school.

kids-playing-outdoors

The researcher’s and author’s author on this topic force fully says children should be provided ample time to engage for outside activity during school hour or later on. This allocated precious time will be good for their wellness of the overall children. Secondly kids will remain healthy, more productive and contribute positively in to the society in long term.

An article written by Clair Carter published in The Telegraph, UK on 06 April, 2014 which states the UK children are losing their sense of exciting activities or not prioritizing the physical activity to explore the outside world and which is rest assure good for their health.

In the survey conducted by Ben Fogle among the parents, the parents mostly admit their kids do not spend that much time which they used to spend at their time while going to school.

Secondly 25% parents says their children on an average spend less than 30 minutes per week for outdoor physical activities.

The 50% parents in survey also mentioned due fears in regard to the safety, they don’t let their children to play outside.

Secondly 60% parents mentioned their children has more options  in terms of  indoor rather than outdoor activities such as watch television programs of their choice because of availability of multiple channels, play games on computers.

In terms of game or engage their indoor times now children and even parents have currently wide variety of choices such a laptop, tablet, mobile phones especially after the availability of android phone.

In years to come what I fear and 100% rest assure, more of our and our children quality time will be taken away by sedentary or inactive life style. This means we remain mostly indoor.

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  • This will be due to invention / upcoming advance versions of communication gadgets, for example in Android and mobiles phone. The competition or race by global companies to attract and win customers such as Apple, Samsung, LG. Motorola, Nokia, Blackberry and list goes on, involve most of us to regularly update ourselves what’s new and advance versions are coming in near future and we prepare ourselves for it.
  • Secondly advancement in terms of availability of very cheap or free of cost communication software tools such as Whatsapp, Imo, Viber, messengers, Skype in terms of audio and video call facility. These software allows to remain in touch globally. These software also contributing in keeping all of us more engage and keep us to mostly remain indoor and have physically inactive life.
  • Thirdly which force most of the children as well as adults to remain inside are video games. These are very easily available on Android / mobile phone, tablet and laptop. What I have observed while travelling locally with in the city or upcountry or even internationally people are mostly playing video games on their mobile or tablet. Such as hero saga, solitaire, candy crush saga, candy crush soda saga and many more is available and further new games are coming. These games while we are mobile or travelling confined ourselves to remain inactive and no social interaction in this duration.
  • Another gadget which confine children or even adults in designated place for hours. They play X Box or Play station 3. These games are also played indoor and we again remain physically inactive.

Parents give vague and lame excuses not to give priority to the outdoor activities and children are confined mostly indoor. They are such as the weather, concern for safety and readily availability of computer games which are thrilling and competitive.

During the survey most of the parents, approximately 80% mentioned they have never taken their children outdoor for fishing, boating or star gazing. Parents are very much worried but they lack courage and have not planned to give quality time to take their children outside for physical activities.

  • 50% parents mentioned they don’t take out their children for physical activities because of safety factors.
  • More than 2/3 of parents mentioned there are more activities available indoor rather than out door.

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In the end of article mentioned by Ben Fogle who is writer, broadcaster and adventurer beside it father, he mentioned

 “Less amount of time children are spending outside is very much worrying for all of us”

We all as an adult have to make commitment to ourselves to make ourselves to take our children outside for physical activities. This will improve quality of life and children will remain active.

We as adult also need to plan for ourselves to do some quality exercise or outdoor physical activities to remain fit and healthy.

Article written by Mahmood Hussain for Baby First Pakistan

About Mahmood Hussain

Professional Experience More than 36 years work experience in Healthcare & Pharmaceutical sectorDirector & General Manager Baby First (Pvt.) Ltd Pakistan March 2011 – till to date I have been associated with Baby First (Pvt) Ltd for more than 5 years. It is advisory, community and social interaction medium for parents 16-38 years and babies 0-6 years.General Manager Aga Khan Health Service Pakistasn December 2005 – December 2007 (2 years 1 month)Based at Karachi Pakistan Worked as General Manager managing Karachi & Baluchistan Health care services of AKHSP which includes primary and secondary health care centers and diagnostic centers on all areas nearly 102 centers which include three leading hospitals in Karachi.General Manager Janssen Cilag (Johnson & Johnson) February 1998 – January 2005 (7 years)Education MBA, Marketing 1995 – 1996, Preston University MSc, Biochemistry 1970 – 1974, Karachi University

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