×
Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

New Study Says More Daycares Are Denying Kids Outdoor Time

Blog New Study Says More Daycares Are Denying Kids Outdoor Time

Are kids in daycare spending enough time outdoors? New research reveals that most children (around 70 percent) are not.

The study, called the Preschool Eating and Activity Study (PEAS), polled 30 child care centers from across the U.S. during November 2009 through January 2011. The purpose of the study was to find what attributes of daycare centers (playgrounds, outdoor time) are associated with higher levels of activity.

Disturbingly, researchers found that a staggering 32 percent of daycares had no scheduled time for outdoor play. Additionally, researchers found that only three in ten children had a full 60 minutes of outdoor playtime, the bare minimum recommended by experts. The study listed inclement weather and construction as the two main reasons for limited outdoor time. The study also showed a link between being outdoors and getting physical activity: the children in the PEAS study who spent at least 60 minutes outdoors were more likely to be physically active throughout the rest of the day.

Riley at IU Health's Dr. Michael McKenna feels strongly that physical activity is crucial for young children. “Studies show that with things like gym and recess, kids do better in school and they’re more attentive,” he says.

But just because kids aren't going outside, said Dr. McKenna, doesn't mean they aren't getting enough activity. “There's nothing magical about being outside,” said Dr. McKenna. “It's easier from a health standpoint [to be outdoors] because it's set up to be active. There's stuff less likely to break and it's beneficial for running and jumping and throwing.” According to Dr. McKenna, there are no physical or psychological harms in being indoors, as long as children are getting plenty of physical activity. In the study, 378 children out of the 388 total had “at least some active time, either indoors or outdoors (median, 68 minutes).”

Dr. McKenna instructs children to get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day, indoors or out. The reason, he says, is not so much to prevent things like obesity, but to set healthy habits going forward into adolescence and adulthood. “Having active lifestyle is good for heart health and life expectancy as an adult,” he said. “Starting those habits now is the key.”

Viewing all posts in …

Other Blog Posts That May Interest You

Blog

Summer strategies for a better school year

Family Care

While summer break always seems to fly by, there’s still enough time for children to forget some of...

Continue reading
Blog

Screen time strategies for parents

Family Care

Computers, video games, smartphones, tablets and television–you name it, and today’s children have...

Continue reading
Blog New Study Reveals Moms Rival Athletes During Childbirth

New Study Reveals Moms Rival Athletes During Childbirth

Family Care

There’s never been any doubt that giving birth, while a wondrous event, is one of the toughest...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …