5 Health Benefits of Playing Outside
There are many reasons kids should play outside, from expressing creativity to running freely to making messes without worrying about dirtying the house. In addition to these fun reasons, there are also many health benefits that make outdoor play great for children.
Rain or shine, sleet or snow, here are 5 health benefits for playing outside:
1) Improves Vision
A study reported by Optometry and Vision Science found that children who spend time outside have better distance vision than those who primarily play indoors.
2) Promotes Social Skills
Getting kids outside and having unstructured play promotes a wide range of skills. In a playground not everyone gets to go down the slide first. Going to a playground with your kids is not just about running around and being active, but it’s also about learning social skills, executive functions and behavioral skills as well through play.
3) Increases Attention Span
Parent’s may notice a high attention span in their children, comparatively speaking. Where other kids might just sit back, studies have also shown that green outdoor settings appear to reduce ADHD symptoms in children. Exposure to natural settings through after-school and weekend activities may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit symptoms in children.
4) Reduces Stress
When it comes to stress, some parents may find that natural remedies work better. Spending time outside playing is such a huge outlet for stress. It’s relaxing; some children may also find this healing. It has been said that seeing green spaces can help decrease kids’ stress levels.
5) Provides Vitamin D
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, lots of kids are suffering from vitamin D deficiencies. This vitamin has several health benefits, including preventing kids from future bone problems, diabetes and even heart disease.
Vitamin D can be received by supplement, but you can also get it through its free and natural version: sunlight. Have your kids play outside for a few minutes without sun screen (which blocks cancer-causing rays, but also vitamin D). Then slather on the lotion. Of course, if your child burns easily, use the sunscreen and increase the vitamin D-heavy foods and supplements.