20% of children do not play on the street

Children increasingly play less and spend less time outdoors, which can affect both their physical health, with the increase in diseases such as obesity, and their mental balance. It is the main conclusion of a study carried out in the United Kingdom and that the newspaper has published The Guardian. The survey has been conducted among more than 2,000 parents of this Anglo-Saxon country and reveals that around a third of the children of participating parents spend less than an hour a day playing outdoors and near the 20% of children do not play on the street.

These results contrast with the importance that experts from around the world give outdoor play for its benefits for children. Teachers, pedagogues and pediatricians point out that this type of outdoor game It is fundamental for the health and development of children.

Games that involve physical activity exercise their skills and develop their skills. But, also, through the game children learn to respect the rules, tolerate frustration, to be patient, empathic and decisive. The game allows them to externalize their emotions and manage their failures and problems.

Outdoor play prevents obesity and mental disorders

The physical activity that outdoor play generates is a prevention factor for childhood obesity. On the other hand, the sedentary lifestyle caused by living in large cities and the lack of free time to play has contributed to the increase in cases of childhood obesity among children in Spain.

However, the lack of play and the decrease in playing time not only trigger problems in the physical health of children, it has also led to an increase in cases of anxiety and depression in children during the last 50 years, according to a study recently published in the American magazine Psychology Today.

Few spaces to play outdoors in the area they live

Outdoor play has been the way in which children have traditionally explored the world around them and learned to solve their problems by themselves. Among other benefits, the game provides self-confidence and helps children to get to know each other better and discover and develop their interests and has even considered play as a therapeutic tool. By reducing playtime, we reduce opportunities for children to take control of their own lives.

However, in Spain there are still few actions aimed at preserving, protecting and promoting this right in childhood. And, as the study shows Children * s World Report In 2015, Spanish children believe that there are few spaces for outdoor game near the place where they live.

Parents have less time to play with their children

The need to guarantee measures for work and family reconciliation is directly related to this issue, according to the latest study "Nursery and Family 2015" prepared by Endered. Specifically, 71.1% of Spanish parents said they do not spend enough time at home to be with their children and to play with them. The reasons given by the parents were the long working hours and the lack of help for work-life balance.

Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: Fundación Crecer Jugando


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