‘Street play’ schemes triple exercise
August 2, 2017 1 comment
Initiatives allowing children to play in streets near their homes following temporary traffic diversions lead to a surge in healthy physical activity according to new research.
The charity Play England has undertaken a three year evaluation of a project it ran with government funding in no less than 45 locations across the country, involving more than 500 individual streets.
In each case, participating parents were able to apply for the closure of certain roads to traffic at defined times, so their children could then play in the streets for a period. The youngsters themselves wore tracking devices while playing so their movements could be monitored.
The amount of physical activity experienced by the participating children tripled, the charity reports, bringing many close to recommended health targets, while levels of overweight and obesity unsurprisingly fell. Meanwhile, the amount of time the children spent at home on sedentary activities also dropped.
Nicola Butler is chair of the Play England trustees. She said:
“Children’s time spent outside is falling, particularly amongst girls. Yet the evidence is clear. When children play out they are three times more likely to be physical active. Giving children access to free outdoor play opportunities is the best way of tackling problems like obesity. Not only is active play physically good for children and young people, it helps their mental health too.”
Read more here.
Photo by Fabio Venni via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
August 2, 2017
Categories: Family Life