31 Jan, 2015

Unsupervised play could improve children’s health

WISHTV.com | Nina Criscuolo | January 29, 2015

TORONTO, CANADA (WISH) — A new Canadian study suggests there could be added health benefits for kids who play outdoors on their own or with their friends.

Researchers at Toronto’s Ryserson University found kids who were given the opportunity to explore and play unsupervised were more physically active than those who were always supervised.

More than 1,000 fifth and sixth grade students were analyzed by researchers for one week. The children included those in rural and urban communities, as well as both low-income and affluent areas.

The study found that kids who were allowed at least some time to go out and explore on their own or with friends were between 14 and 19 percent more physically active than kids who were always supervised.

Fitness experts involved in the research also say parents who hover not only reduce activity, but can also slow the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills.

According to the CDC, children and teens should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day.