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'Indian children have less outdoor playing opportunities'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

in have less to play outdoors than their parents had as kids, according to a survey in 10 countries which found that over half of globally play outside for one hour or less each day.

The study included a 20 minute online quantitative survey with over 12,000 parents who have at least one child aged 5- 12.

In response to the decline in the time that spend outdoors, a Delhi-based is calling on teachers across to take at least one lesson outdoors on October 12, this year, as part of the global Classroom Day campaign.

"We are calling on teachers, parents and anyone who cares about childhood to get involved in the campaign on October 12th, 2017," said Sudeshna Chatterjee, CEO of Action for Children's Environments (ACE).

"Whether that is by taking a class outdoors, encouraging your child's school to sign up, or helping spread the message far and wide, everyone can do something to make sure children across the country experience the benefits of and learning outdoors" said Chatterjee.

The survey was conducted by market research firm Edelman Intelligence, in February and March 2016, across 10 countries - India, US, Brazil, UK, Turkey, Portugal, South Africa, Vietnam, China, and Indonesia.

A total of 1,000 interviews were conducted in the 10 countries except the UK and the US, where 2,000 per market were performed to meet media standards.

Researchers found that in India, 56 per cent of parents believe their child has less to play than they did as a child, researchers said.

They also found that 56 per cent of children globally play outside for one hour or less each day.

"Children have higher physical energy level and it has to be channelised properly for which and activities are very important," Dr Shweta Sharma, Clinical Psychologist at Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon, told PTI.

"Children are also exposed to experimental learning and there is more usage of their brains when they play outdoors," said Sharma, who was not involved in the study.

"When they are confined indoors, their immune system is less developed and parents, schools and NGOs working in the areas of child development must find ways to give as many as possible to children for activities," she said.

According to ACE, in 2016, almost half a million children around the world were involved in Outdoor Classroom Day by having their lessons outside (within and outside school premises) and celebrating playtime.

Outdoor learning improves children's health, engages them with learning and leads to a greater understanding of nature, said Chatterjee.

Previous research has found opportunities for spontaneous play may be the only requirement that young children need to increase their physical activity.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 03 2017. 15:22 IST