It has been proven repeatedly that if children spend more time in the Great Outdoors, it will benefit them in various ways. After a year of being indoors, it is more important to give them opportunities to explore the natural environment.
Why Children Should Spend Time Outdoors
On average, American children spend seven hours every day in front of a screen. It means that they are losing opportunities to be physically active. It can harm their health in the long run. They will be at risk of obesity and all the illnesses that come with it, including heart disease.
Moreover, too much screen time can lead to academic difficulties. According to previous research, children who have television inside their rooms, which allows them to spend more time in front of a screen, do worse on educational testing.
Being outside, however, counters all the consequences of too much screen time. And, the best way to encourage them to stop scrolling on their smartphones or playing video games on their computers is to turn it into an opportunity to bond as a family.
Parents should not just wait for their children to want to go outdoors. They should initiate by planning activities in nature. The family, for example, can schedule one weekend for camping. You can rent tents or a recreational vehicle for the brief excursion. However, you do not have to leave the comforts of your own home to have fun. If you have a patio, you can have lunches and dinners outdoors. Find an awning company locally to supply your space protection from the sun to make it more enjoyable. In addition, make sure that everyone has applied a generous layer of sunscreen before heading out to prevent painful sunburns.
Here are the benefits of spending time outdoors as a family.
Nature is a Health-Booster
Children who spend time outdoors get plenty of exercise, as well as a healthy dose of vitamin D. Exercise can help them maintain healthy body weight and prevent them from suffering from chronic conditions such as type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure. On the other hand, vitamin D plays an essential role in bone and teeth health and boosts the immune system, making bodies more able to fight infections.
In addition, the fresh air from the outdoors is good for them, too. The Environmental Protection Agency warned in a report that, in some households, the quality of air indoors is worse than outdoors. Being outdoors, especially surrounded by nature, will give them a chance to breathe clean, fresh air.
Of course, the same health benefits apply to everyone in the family.
Time Outdoors Defeats Stress
Both adults and children nowadays experience high levels of stress regularly for a variety of reasons. Add to that the pandemic and the economic crisis that the United States went through in the past year.
The most effective antidote to stress is being in green spaces.
One study measured the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in 25 Scottish adults. The researchers also asked the participants questions about their daily lives, including what gives them stress at home and work.
The study revealed that those who live around green spaces are less likely to be susceptible to daily stressors at home or work than those who lived in urban areas.
All members of the family will be less stressed after spending time outdoors.
Less Screen Time is Good for Everyone
Spending time outdoors as a family means that everyone gets a break from electronic devices. Kids are not the only ones spending too much time in front of their smartphones and laptops. Parents, too, are using technology for work, leisure, and connecting with loved ones throughout the day.
According to reports, Americans spend up to 12 hours per day in front of the television or a computer at home. A recent study found that the average American will spend an equivalent of 44 years of their life looking at a screen.
These devices are necessary to everyday life, but they are also very addictive. It is already causing a phenomenon called phantom vibration in which people feel that their smartphones are ringing when they are not.
Spending time outdoors allows everyone to log off of their devices and focus on family.
Now more than ever, it is important for kids to spend time outdoors. However, to further encourage them to get out of the house, the whole family should be involved, too.