Outdoor Play is Healthy Play
Is outdoor play healthy play? A Sydney Morning Herald article titled “How to make lockdown holidays different from lockdown learning?” quotes Professor Garry Fallon from Macquarie University saying its important to differentiate learning from home based activities. Also, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports our children are literally becoming obese. Why? Because they are not getting enough healthy outdoor play.
The behaviours they cite which influence obesity include:
- increased consumption of energy-dense, low-nutrient foods and sugar-sweetened beverages
- insufficient physical activity … especially during the pandemic so many junior sports teams games and coaching sessions have been cancelled and play seasons reduced.
- increased sedentary activity such as sitting or lying down on the couch.
- increased time spent in front of screens including tablets, PC’s and TV’s.
- insufficient sleep.
They report that 25% of children aged 2-17 in Australia were overweight or obese in 2017-18. Also, young people aged 15-24 in 2017-18 were more likely to be overweight or obese than those studied in the 1995 and 2005 reports on the same issue. The report is backed up by this article called “Why should my child play outside?”
It’s unclear yet what affects the lockdowns in our major cities will have on these figures. We hope it’s more than just the family dog who is getting lots of outdoor and healthy play (and attention) as parents work from home, and kids are home schooled.
The AIHW Report
In their 2020 report about insufficient physical activity AIHW said “Participating in regular physical activity provides many benefits for physical and mental health at all ages, and can also help manage biomedical risk factors such as high body weight, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Insufficient physical activity is a key risk factor contributing to disease burden in Australia. Given it plays a role in chronic conditions, it is important for Australians to achieve the levels of activity outlined in Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary behaviour guidelines.”
Also, there’s an interesting “Everyone Can Play” initiative instituted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment which encourages councils and planning organisations to create inclusive play spaces. Read about it here.
Another initiative is Claratyne’s Outsideologist Project. It’s on a mission to “get one million Australian children and their families to spend just one more hour a week outside for better health and wellbeing”. The Raising Children’s Network is also a great supporter of outdoor play.
What can you do?
Bubbling With Energy Entertainment came out of the famous Life.Be In It campaign of the 1970’s which promoted active outdoor play. That’s what we specialise in. Whether it be bouncing around on a jumping castle, conquering an inflatable obstacle course, or practicing soccer and footy shootouts on an interactive game, your players will get healthy outdoor play.
So, let’s get those disturbing obesity figures down with outdoor play that is healthy play.
Also let us take you to our other Blog called 15 Popular Backyard Party Ideas. It’s full of unique outdoor physical activity ideas.
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