Children around the world spend less time outdoors, study finds

Published 20.04.2016 23:25
Updated 20.04.2016 23:27
Children around the world spend less time outdoors, study finds

OMO, a Unilever laundry soap brand, released the findings of their study entitled "Global Children and Game Research," conducted with 12,000 parents in 10 countries as part of their "Dirt is Good" campaign. The study revealed that children around the world spend less time playing outdoors, and argues that the future success of children depends on having play time balanced between outdoors and indoors. It seems that children have less and less time and areas to play outdoors.

According to the study, children spend almost the same amount of time outdoors as prison inmates. Based on research conducted in the U.S., Brazil, the U.K., Turkey, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and India, 57 percent of parents in Turkey believe that their children do not have as much opportunity to play outdoors as their parents' generation did when they were children. Nine out of 10 parents in Turkey acknowledged that children prefer to play virtual sports games instead of live sports, while one in two parents said their children do not have time to play outdoors.

Half of parents surveyed in Turkey claimed that there are not enough playgrounds available for children to play safely. Commenting on the results of the survey, advisor to Unilever and educationalist Ken Robinson said, "Academic research shows that active play is the natural and primary way that children learn. It is essential to their healthy growth and progress, particularly during periods of rapid brain development. However, outdoor games are usually overlooked as they are considered irrelevant. Hence there is a rising concern regarding the decrease in active play time children receive - at an alarming rate. We are faced with a troublesome imbalance in child play time."

"It is not possible to avoid the fact that children are being raised with digital technology," said Professor Yankı Yazgan, the Turkey advisor for the Dirt is Good Childhood Development Advisory Board. He said that we have to acknowledge that we are raising a new generation of children that were born into a digital world.

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