×
Riley at IU Health Visitor Restrictions

Riley at IU Health has lifted visitor restrictions, except for the neonatal intensive care units at Riley Hospital for Children, IU Health Methodist and IU Health North hospitals. View full details.

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 Breaking News: Expect These New Health Screenings for Your Child

Breaking News: Expect These New Health Screenings for Your Child

Family Care

In an effort to make sure children get the preventative care they need, the American Academy of...

Continue reading
Blog

Do Flu Shots Get You Sick?

Family Care

Influenza (flu) is one of the most common and contagious illnesses of the winter season. While...

Continue reading
Blog

What You Need to Know About Pregnancy and Exercise

Everyday Wellness

Whether you are an avid exerciser already or just want to start getting in shape before your baby...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …